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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid negotiating José Mourinho's return with Jorge Mendes

Real Madrid negotiating José Mourinho's return with Jorge Mendes

The club have made contact with Mourinho's agent. Madrid's plan is that Santiago Solari will be sacked and the new coach on board for Sunday's game against Valladolid.

Real Madrid have started the task of arranging José Mourinho's return to the club. Yesterday, the club made contact with the Portuguese coach's agent Jorge Mendes with a view to hiring Mourinho for a second time. The 56-year-old was Madrid's coach from 2010 until 2013. The club must first convince Mourinho, who has doubts about accepting the offer. His relationship with the players (seven of whom remain in the squad from his time at the club - some of them he had disputes with) and with some members of the board make him cautious about agreeing a second stint at the Bernabéu.

Key day

Today will be a key day in the operation to hire Mourinho. Real Madrid are working against the clock to secure the coach. Florentino Pérez's plan is that Santiago Solari will not be on the bench for Sunday night's Week 27 league game at Real Valladolid.

However, Mourinho isn't the only option which Madrid are pursuing, the big favourite is Zidane. However, the French coach doesn't seem keen on returning to take over the squad he was in charge of up until he decided to leave last summer. Zizou does not like the idea of being lumped with the challenge of completely rebuilding the team and he is aware that if he did return, he would be forced to make decisions that he didn't want to make a few months ago.

Club sources consulted by AS claim that Solari is close to being sacked because, while the team have been eliminated from three competitions in the space of a week, the board feels that Madrid can still battle for second place in LaLiga so that they will be able to qualify for the revamped Spanish Super Cup which this year features a new format with four teams contesting the trophy.

Mourinho was in charge at Madrid for three seasons (2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-2013) and during that time he won LaLiga (setting new points and goals records - 100 points and 121 goals), the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.

Mourinho "100%" set to return to Madrid, say The Telegraph

In England, The Telegraph reports that: "José Mourinho will be back at Real Madrid with almost 100% certainty". The daily doesn't specify if this return is anticipated this season or whether the Portuguese coach will be on the bench for the 2019-20 campaign.