Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has ruled out an imminent return for Jose Mourinho following his dismissal from Chelsea. The Madrid club chief insists that neither the Portuguese manager nor Zinedine Zidane will take over from Rafa Benitez insisting the former Liverpool boss is still the right man to turn around the club's fortunes.
Mourinho ended his three-year-spell at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2013 on a sour note with players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and the Spanish media. However, the Portuguese boss has been linked to return to the club in recent hours after being sacked by the Blues – and with Benitez's position at Los Blancos also under renewed scrutiny following their latest defeat against Villarreal.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon sparked renewed speculation on Thursday after claiming that Mourinho's return to the Bernabeu is getting closer for someone who would be the perfect "shield" for the current under fire president.
When asked about the former Chelsea boss's possible return to the Bernabeu in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Perez said: "Nobody can predict the future but right now he is not going to come to Madrid because we have Benitez.
"I have very good memories of Mourinho. He raised our competitive level [when he was manager] a lot," said Perez. "Before he arrived to the club we had being eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16 of the competition. We were the number 13 in the UEFA ranking when he arrived and when he left we were the first.
"He led us three times to the Champions League semi-finals. We did not get to the finals because of bad luck. With him we returned to the right place."
Marca and AS have been reporting in recent days that Zidane would be the one chosen to replace Benitez should Los Blancos opt for an imminent change. But Florentino said: "Not at all [Zidane will not replace Benitez] although several media have agreed to say that. The club is the one who appoint the managers. Benitez came to solve a problem. He is not the problem but the solution."
But when asked whether Zidane will be coach one day, he said: "I am sure. He wants to be. He has learned very quickly. He will be the coach. Zidane will be a great coach and in the future he will be coach of Real Madrid.
He added: "Benitez isn't going to be replaced by Zidane or by anybody. Benitez is capable of solving the problems we have. That's the only option we're considering. It is not true that he has a bad relationship with the players either.
"We have dropped the level but Benitez is going to solve this. He has full credit. If Rayo Vallecano beat us (on Sunday) we will have to keep working with Benitez."