Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez could be sacked before the club's next La Liga outing against Real Sociedad on 30 December, a report has claimed. Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claimed Benitez had lost control of the dressing room and that Real president Florentino Perez had hand-picked Jose Mourinho to succeed the Spanish coach.
If confirmed, Benitez's last match in charge of the club would be the 10-2 home win against Rayo Vallecano at the weekend. Real fans jeered and whistled their team during the early stages of the match as Rayo led 2-1, before two red cards for the visitors decisively shifted the match in favour of the home team.
A number of Real players have publicly criticised the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss, who reportedly does not retain the backing of a single player in the first-team. The report claimed Benitez is no longer on speaking terms with Isco and James Rodriguez, while Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly threatened to leave the club in the changing room after the match against Rayo.
Cadena Ser said Mourinho could return to the Real dugout in the coming days for a second spell after managing the club between 2010 and 2013. Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea last week, has also been heavily linked with Manchester United, where Louis van Gaal is under severe pressure following a poor run of results. Earlier this month, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez refused to rule out the return of the Portuguese boss to the Bernabeu in the future but backed Benitez to turn around the club's fortunes.
"Nobody can predict the future but right now he [Mourinho] is not going to come to Madrid because we have Benitez," Perez said to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "I have very good memories of Mourinho. He raised our competitive level [when he was manager] a lot.
"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."