Real Madrid have confirmed the departure of Carlo Ancelotti after two seasons at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Florentino Pérez, the Real president, held a press conference on Monday when it was announced that the 55-year-old Italian is to leave with immediate effect despite having a year of his contract remaining.

Ancelotti, who joined Real from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2013, won the Champions League and Copa del Rey in his first season. But after being elimnitated from the Champions League at the semi-final stage by Juventus and failing to win La Liga, it is understood the former Chelsea manager was informed of his fate in a meeting yesterday.

“Carlo is part of our history because he won the Décima for us,” said Pérez. “But here the demands are very high and we need to give Real Madrid  a new push that allows us to reach the level that we want to be. It was a very difficult decision to make. The demands at this club are the utmost because Madrid always wants to win silverware.

“The affection that the players and the fans have for Carlo is the same as the affection I myself have for him.”

Ancelottei is set to have back surgery this summer to correct a long-standing problem and had indicated that he will take a break from football. “I can assure you that I have not lacked opportunities, from Italy, England and Germany. And I will not lack [offers] between now and next year,” he said last week. “But I said it in the press conference and I repeat: I will stop for a year, also because I have a very serious reason for stopping.”

“I have to have an operation because of my cervical stenosis. For some time, it has been affecting my hands and if I lose any more time, it could pass into legs, so I have an appointment for surgery.

“And, frankly, I do not know how long I have to be physically stopped, in terms of the post-operative phase and the subsequent rehabilitation.”

The Napoli manager, Rafael Benítez, is the strong favourite to succeed Ancelotti at Real, with Pérez confirming on Monday that an appointment would be made in the next week.