Rafael Benitez was sacked as Real Madrid manager earlier this week, following a 2-2 draw against Gary Neville’s Valencia on Sunday evening, and was replaced by club legend and former youth team coach Zinedine Zidane [BBC Sport].
However, according to the tabloid, Zizou wasn’t Florentino Perez’s first choice, and the club chairman initially wanted Mourinho to return to the Bernabeu.
The Portuguese coach left Real in 2013—having taken over in 2010—by which time he’d won the Spanish title in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2011 and the Spanish Super Cup in 2012. Despite his ignominious departure from Chelsea, Mourinho remains one of the game’s most decorated coaches.
However, in this case, Perez wasn’t able to get his man, with Cross noting that Mourinho is still holding out for a swift return to the Premier League.
The established journalist noted that the ex-Inter Milan coach’s preference is Manchester United, with Mourinho understood to be biding his time to see whether the Red Devils stick with under-performing manager Louis van Gaal.
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Should United stick with the Dutch coach, or should they replace him with another candidate such as Ryan Giggs, Mourinho is unlikely to be short of options, with both Paris Saint-Germain and AS Roma having been mooted as possible destinations since his Chelsea exit [ESPN].