The staggering amount it will cost Real Madrid to sack coach Julen Lopetegui

Real Madrid must cough-up nearly £16million if they want to sack new coach Julen Lopetegui just weeks into the job.

The European champions are in crisis after a painfully slow start to the new season.

Fans are demanding he go and a slender 2-1 win at home to Champions League minnows Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night did little to ease the pressure.

Losing four of his last five games before edging past the Czech side, he is expected to go if Real lose to leaders Barcelona in el clásico this Sunday.

But the true cost of sacking Lopetegui has perhaps given the 52-year-old some breathing space since replacing iconic Zinedine Zidane in the summer.

Spanish specialists Sport say it will cost a whopping £16million to get him out of the Bernabéu.

There is no break clause in his £5.3m-a-year deal – and they must pay-up in full if they want him gone, report the trusted website.

So bad is Real’s level of performance since he took over that former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has already been heavily linked with the job.

President Florentino Pérez is under intense pressure to take the huge financial hit and that will only grow should they not get their La Liga title bid back on track against bitter foes Barca.

The club’s director of institutional relations, former Real striker Emilio Butragueño, last night said there would be no change ahead of the weekend. “Yes, yes, [we’re approaching that game] with absolute normality," he said.

"In situations like this it is very important to stay calm, be united and trust in the players.”

Lopetegui appeared unmoved by the vote of confidence after the uninspiring Champions League win: “That’s far from important," he claimed. "What is important was winning the game today.

"The team had a great need for this triumph – their coach did too of course. We want to get out of these circumstances. You can’t change everything overnight but we hope this is a turning point.

“We need to gain a little tranquillity bit by bit: we have to keep going. On Sunday we have a game that motivates us a huge amount.”

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