Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti plans to take a year off from coaching if he is not continuing at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, he said on Saturday after his side ended the season by hammering Getafe 7-3 at home.
The Italian coach said in his post-match news conference that should Madrid not ask him to continue into the final year of his contract, he would take a 12-month sabbatical from the game.
"My future is clear in my head," Ancelotti said. "Either I stay here at Real Madrid, or I stop for one year."
A strange atmosphere at the Bernabeu saw support from Los Blancos fans for Ancelotti, who watched what could be his last game as coach from a VIP box because a touchline ban.
There was also a mix of whistles and supportive chants for long-serving club captain Iker Casillas, who may also be set to leave this summer.
A back-and-forth first half saw Cristiano Ronaldo score his latest hat trick, but Getafe also scored three times through Sergio Escudero and a Mehdi Lacen brace.
The second period was much more one-sided, with goals from Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, James, Jese and Marcelo, and Blancos starlet Martin Odegaard also entering the pitch to become the youngest player in the club's history.
Ronaldo's hat trick took him to 48 La Liga goals for the season, and sealed the third "pichichi" top-scorer trophy of his six years in Spain. With the game looking decided, Odegaard entered in the 58th minute, becoming at 16 years, five months and six days the youngest player to play for Madrid in the league.
The Portuguese star also revealed his support for Ancelotti on Twitter.
Great coach and amazing person. Hope we work together next season. pic.twitter.com/HqHHGjGGUH
- Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 23, 2015
Almost all the questioning in the Bernabeu press room after the game focused on Ancelotti's future. The Italian said he was not surprised that his future was being questioned after a disappointing campaign which has ended with no major trophies won, even though he delivered the Champions League and Copa del Rey titles in his first season in Spain, as well as the Club World Cup in December.
"Football is like that, above all in demanding club like Real Madrid," Ancelotti said. "It is normal for there to be questions when part of season has not gone well. This is part of my work. Last year we won La Decima, this year is a separate thing. I do not forget what we did last season, nor this year.
"All must be considered, as that serves to improve. We must judge with calm what happened this season, and try to improve for next year."
Asked when he had last met personally with club president Florentino Perez, the man assumed to be making the decision, Ancelotti said they had spoken at a commercial event at the Bernabeu recently.
"We talked on Tuesday during the Microsoft event," he said, later adding that "Nobody is in a hurry. The club is thinking about what it should do, to make the right decision. I am waiting on that. I have no communication with club.
"We will meet next week, maybe Monday or Tuesday. I believe the club will make its decision."
Ancelotti continued to field questions about future with politeness, and was asked whether he personally would think it unfair should he be sacked now, considering how well his first 18 months at the club had gone.
"That is a personal opinion," he said. "I have said many times that I want to stay. If the club says I will not, of course I am not happy. But this can happen in football, not the same time.
"It will not be the last time, as I still want to coach. I still have confidence in my work and professionalism. I like coaching."
Madrid have scored 11 goals in the two games since it was confirmed that Barcelona would win this season's La Liga title, which Ancelotti said showed the professionalism of his squad.
"It is a message as the players have shown professionalism until the last minute of the season," he said. "That is what we wanted to do. They did very well, even with the sadness of not winning trophies this season. But they remained very professional right until the end."
In the end Madrid finished just two points behind Barca, and Ancelotti rued a spate of injuries early in 2015 which dealt the eventually decisive blow to their chances.
"We have said many times that we had a dip in January and February when we were missing important players, including James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric," he said. "We missed them in the draw at home to Villarreal, and the defeat at Athletic Bilbao. The analysis is pretty clear."