Real Madrid senior players rejected the notion of Jose Mourinho returning to the club, which led to Zinedine Zidane’s appointment instead.
Zidane was named as Los Blancos new head coach on Monday, just 10 months after he resigned his original post at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Frenchman walked away from his beloved club after leading them to a third successive Champions League triumph, insisting it was time for a change, but he was unable to resist an offer to return from president Florentino Perez this month.
Madrid have endured a nightmare 2018-19 campaign, which will end trophyless unless they miraculously overturn a 12 point La Liga deficit and beat Barcelona to the domestic drown.
Zidane’s successor Julen Lopetegui was sacked in October and his replacement Santiago Solari fared little better at the helm, despite a promising first couple of months.
According to The Daily Mail, former Manchester United and Chelsea boss Mourinho was a leading candidate in the race to fill Solari’s boots, but a number of key Madrid squad members expressed their disapproval of the Portuguese coach.
Perez was also unsure whether or not to re-appoint the 56-year-old, who has become more well known for his antics off the pitch than results on it in recent years – as his ill-fated two and a half year spell at Old Trafford highlights.
Mourinho managed Madrid for three years between 2010 and 2013, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey while challenging one of the greatest Barcelona sides of all time for domestic and European domination.
Club captain Sergio Ramos was reportedly the leading name behind rejecting Mourinho’s return, having endured a fractious relationship with the Portuguese during his first stint at the club.
The Mail reports that Marcelo and Karim Benzema were also firmly against his appointment, with Perez ultimately opting to bring Zidane back in the hope that he can quickly restore the glory days he left behind in 2018.
Zidane has been given assurances that he will have complete creative control in the hot seat, with the opportunity to bring in several new players during the summer transfer window.
Mourinho, meanwhile, is still on the lookout for his next role in management, but it is highly likely that any future potential suitors will all hold the same reservations about him.
Once revered as Europe’s greatest head coach, Mourinho is now in real danger of becoming a dinosaur of a by-gone era, unless he can adapt and learn to leave his ego where it belongs: firmly planted at the door.