Zinedine Zidane has turned down the chance of a return to Real Madrid, according to former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon.
The 46-year-old left the club last summer after winning a third consecutive Champions League title with Los Blancos, cementing his legendary status at the Bernabeu. After being dumped out of Europe’s elite club competition on Tuesday night by Ajax, the Spanish giants have now contacted the Frenchman about a possible return with immediate effect to get the club back on it’s feet, but Zidane has turned the offer down. Calderon told the BBC: ‘I know that this morning the president [Florentino Perez] called Zidane to ask him back, he said not now.’
While a chance to return now isn’t on the cards, Calderon revealed that Zidane has told Real to come back to him once the current season ends this summer. He has left open the possibility of coming back in June,’ Calderon added. Zidane has not managed a club since walking out on Real just days after their famous win over Liverpool last May and has been one of the most sought-after bosses in Europe. Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the former midfielder but he has turned down any advances.
Calderon has also warned the club against rehiring Jose Mourinho as speculation grows over Santiago Solari’s future following Tuesday’s stunning Champions League exit. Madrid lost 4-1 on home soil to throw away a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, a result which has heaped pressure on Solari a week after back-to-back Clasico defeats to Barcelona ended their interest in the Copa Del Rey and left them 12 points behind their rivals in LaLiga. Mourinho, out of work since he was sacked by Manchester United in December, has been linked with a return to the club where he won one league title and one Copa Del Rey between 2010 and 2013.
Calderon – who was president of Madrid between 2006 and 2009 – admitted he expects it to happen but when asked if he would like to see the Portuguese back at the Bernabeu, he told ESPN FC: ‘Absolutely not. I’ve already mentioned the amount of damage he caused here. ‘His style of play is not what the Bernabeu wants. What the fans want is what we’ve just seen from Ajax; bravery, aggression with a lot of speed and boldness. Mourinho doesn’t do this.’ Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino also remains heavily linked with the position.