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Real Madrid approached Jose Mourinho in 2021 after Zidane left, says ex-Atletico star

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Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Former Atletico Madrid and Portugal footballer Paulo Futre has offered key insights into Real Madrid’s search for a new manager in 2021, when Zinedine Zidane left the club for the second time.

The former Atletico Madrid star suggests that in an attempt to find a replacement for Zidane, Real Madrid had approached Jose Mourinho. But the Portuguese mastermind, who was a free agent at the time, opted not to return to Santiago Bernabeu.

“José Mourinho could have returned to Real Madrid in 2021,” Futre told SerieANews (h/t Diario AS). But the Italian admits Mourinho was not too keen on joining Real Madrid and tempted by the project at AS Roma.

“José believed from the first moment in the Roma project since he signed. He said no to Madrid. When Zidane left, he was able to return to the white club, but he preferred to go to Roma and start this new journey,” he added.

Mourinho was a coach of Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013. Under his leadership, the Whites were the Spanish champions in 2011/12. He was also voted the best coach in the world in 2011.

According to Futre, the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager was in contention to return at Santiago Bernabeu last year. But the move did not materialise and the club ended up bringing back another former boss in the form of Carlo Ancelotti.

The decision has proven to be a fruitful one so far, with Ancelotti notably helping Los Blancos seal the Champions League and La Liga last season. The club will be eyeing a treble this time around, especially after an explosive start to the campaign.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid out-of-favour defender now unlikely to leave the club

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid missed out on the signing of Leny Yoro after deciding not to match Manchester United’s offer for the 18-year-old defender.

With the French prodigy now on his way to the Premier League, Los Blancos are assessing their options before deciding whether to sign a new centre-back or not.

As things stand, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe seem to be leaning towards relying on their existing options rather than going into the market.

Jesus Vallejo unlikely to leave

As such, MARCA reports that the likelihood of Jesus Vallejo leaving the club have now significantly reduced.

Indeed, the 27-year-old out-of-favour defender now appears more and more likely to continue at Real Madrid beyond this summer.

Set to stay. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Vallejo returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after finishing his loan stint at Granada during which he hardly played due to injury and fitness woes.

As such, reports suggested that Carlo Ancelotti & co. were not planning on counting on him next season, even though he was handed a new shirt number recently.

But with the Leny Yoro operation collapsing and Real Madrid not keen on recruiting anyone from the market at this point, the Spanish ace is now unlikely to leave the club.

With David Alaba still sidelined, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao will start the new season as the first-choice centre-back pairing and Vallejo will serve as the backup while Aurelien Tchouameni will also be an option.

Vallejo, for his part, wanted to stay put and see out his contract which expires in 2025. And, as things stand, it appears that the player will get his wish.

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