Calderon: Mourinho is Real Madrid’s first choice to become manager

Former president Ramon Calderon is certain that Jose Mourinho is the favourite to become the new Real Madrid manager.

Following back-to-back Clasico defeats and Tuesday’s shock Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax, Santiago Solari’s future as manager is under increased doubt.

The 42-year-old was promoted from the Castilla team in October to replace the fired Julen Lopetegui and got off to an impressive start by winning all four of his opening games before crashing to an unexpected 3-0 La Liga defeat to SD Eibar.

Since then, Solari’s results in charge of Los Blancos have been somewhat underwhelming amid further unsettling setbacks against the likes of CSKA Moscow, Real Sociedad and Girona.

Now Real will almost certainly go the entire season trophyless given last week’s Copa del Rey exit to Barcelona at the semi-final stage and due to the fact they sit 12 points behind their Catalan rivals in La Liga.

Therefore, calls for Mourinho to return to the Bernabeu have been growing steadily stronger with the home fans even chanting his name on Tuesday.

And Calderon, who was president of Real between 2006 to 2009, is convinced that the Portuguese is at the top of Florentino Perez’s shortlist after leaving Manchester United in December.

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“I have no doubt Mourinho is the first option for the president. He’s been called in the last weeks,” Calderon told Sky Sports.

“It was when Zinedine Zidane left, Mourinho was with Manchester United and he said it was not the right moment to come back, but maybe now he’s free.

“I think there will be many chances he will be on that bench next season.”

As for any other potential suitors for the Real job, Calderon added: “Maybe Mauricio Pochettino, they are talking about him. But there will be many in the next days because fans can’t accept this situation.

“There’s been three or four months moaning now, lamenting and regretting what we did planning this team.”

Real Madrid will return to action on Sunday away to Real Valladolid in La Liga at the Jose Zorilla Stadium.

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 05: Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Raphael Verane of Real Madrid look dejected during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Ajax at Bernabeu on March 05, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)