Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wanted Jose Mourinho as his new manager rather than Zinedine Zidane, the club’s former chief Roman Calderon has claimed.

Having sacked Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari for a series of embarrassing results, Real decided to turn again to their former manager who won an unprecedented three Champions League titles in a row before resigning last May.

Before Zidane came in this week, however, Mourinho was linked with a sensational return to the club he won the La Liga title with before leaving his role in 2013.

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And ex-Real Madrid president Calderon says Mourinho was Perez’s preferred choice, with the chief keen on a reunion with the Portuguese tactician.

Zinedine Zidane was hired by Real Madrid ahead of Jose Mourinho

“The first option was Mourinho, and Mourinho was the one who was going to come to Real Madrid because he’s the only coach the president respects,” said Calderon as reported by AS .

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“Florentino sees the Portuguese coach as a shield.

“He says what nobody dares, he blames the referees, the press, [he says] that which is not normally said.”

Calderon believes Perez was overruled by key figures in the dressing room, with Mourinho having endured a controversial first spell in Madrid.

Florentino Perez reportedly wanted Mourinho as the new boss

He told Sky Sports : “The dressing room leaders pushed to reject the possibility of Jose Mourinho.

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“He left [Real Madrid] a lot of problems and I think he would have been another problem to the ones we already have if he had come.

“I think Jose Mourinho would have been a step backwards, there was a lot of problems and controversy when he was here.

“He is a good coach with a lot of trophies but many of the leaders in the dressing room didn’t like him and I think that was important in the decision-making.”

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