Real Madrid have named Jose Mourinho as their top target to become manager in the summer, according to former club president Ramon Calderon.
Current Los Blancos boss Santiago Solari, who replaced Julen Lopetegui in October, is under increasing pressure after three consecutive home defeats including Tuesday’s 4-1 humbling by Ajax in the Champions League round-of-16.
Will Mourinho replace Solari? Five key things to know…
- Santiago Solari replaced Julen Lopegetui as Real Madrid manager in October after the club’s poor start.
- Despite a minor revival, things for Solari took a turn for the worst with three consecutive defeats effectively ending Madrid’s season.
- As a result, Solari’s long-term future is now in doubt, with former club president Ramon Calderon linking Jose Mourinho with the job.
- Mourinho has been a free agent since his departure from Manchester United in December and could be in line to return to his former club.
- Jose Mourinho won 127 of his 178 games during his previous spell at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.
The defeat to Ajax saw Real Madrid drop out of the Champions League, ending the club’s quest for silverware this season having also been knocked out of the Copa del Rey and La Liga title race over the past week.
This led some fans to call for Solari to be replaced and, according to Calderon, there is only one option for current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
“I have no doubt Mourinho is the first option for the president,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’s been called in the last weeks.
“It was when Zinedine Zidane left, Mourinho was with Manchester United and he said it was not the right moment to come back, but maybe now he’s free.
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“I think there will be many chances he will be on that bench next season.”
Calderon also revealed Madrid are looking into Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, though even more names will rise up over the next few days.
He added: “Maybe Mauricio Pochettino, they are talking about him. But there will be many in the next days because fans can’t accept this situation.
“There’s been three or four months moaning now, lamenting and regretting what we did planning this team.”
Mourinho ready to return to “top level”
Despite being out of management, Mourinho has not been out of the news often appearing as a pundit on some of Europe’s biggest matches.
This has seen the Portuguese become fairly vocal over both his past and future, including reportedly turning down jobs not suitable for a man of his stature.
But despite his picky nature, Mourinho has previously revealed he does not intend to stay out of management too long, stating he belongs in top-level football.
He said in January: “I want to coach, I’m too young [to retire]. I’m in football for a long, long time. I’ll be 56 in a couple of weeks. Too young, really too young.
“Where I’m going to stay is where I belong. I belong to top football, I belong to top-level football and it is where I’m going to be.”