Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, has ruled out an immediate return to the club for José Mourinho and insisted he is happy to stick with under-fire manager Rafael Benítez for now.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea on Thursday after a disastrous defence to their title defence, with technical director Michael Emenalo revealing that the decision had been taken due to “palpable discord” between the manager and his players.
But asked whether he might consider reappointing the Portuguese, who spent three seasons at the Santiago Bernabéu between 2010 and 2013, Pérez was adamant Benítez would remain at the helm.
“No one knows the future but right now no, because we have Rafa Benítez and we are not thinking beyond Rafa,” he told the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
“We hired Benítez to sort out a specific problem. He was the right man among the many possibilities that we had. And if we believed that he was the right man at the start of the season we can’t three months later say he is not.
“We have a great coach. Rafa is the person that we have chosen and we have to let him work with the collaboration of all the players. I talk to the players and it is not true that they do not get on with him.”
Asked whether he looked back fondly on Mourinho’s spell at the club, Pérez added: “I have good memories of Mourinho. He raised our competitive level. When Mourinho came we had been knocked out for six straight seasons in the round of 16 of the Champions League and we were 13th in the Uefa rankings, and when he left we were number one and we made it to three consecutive semi-finals always losing in unlucky circumstances.
“He gave us a competitive boost. But all coaches come and they all have to go. [Vicente] Del Bosque, Mourinho. The job wears them out and you need to change.”
The former France international Zinedine Zidane has been mooted as a potential replacement for Benítez but Pérez claimed that was unlikely to transpire.
“Zidane will be a great coach and I’m sure if he wants to be Madrid coach then he will be, but not today.”