Calderon: Mourinho for Madrid, if not United

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon expects to see Jose Mourinho return to the Spanish capital if he does not end up joining Manchester United.

The Portuguese coach is widely expected to take the reigns at Old Trafford at the end of the season, but he could be offered his old job at Santiago Bernabeu should current Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane fail to impress.

“If Mourinho doesn’t sign for Manchester United, he will be Real Madrid’s next coach,” Calderon told AS ahead of El Clasico against Barcelona at Camp Nou on Saturday. “I am completely sure of that.

“If the team doesn’t win anything, sadly, we’ll be seeing Mourinho on the bench again. That’s my feeling. If he returns then we’ll be back to the war games, fire-starting, uncomfortable press conferences.

“That wasn’t the best time for the club. Now, without him, there’s a lot more peace. He provoked a series of conflicts which no one wants and it’s far from ideal.

“The president (Florentino Perez) has been trying to coax him back for the past year, he’s tried on a number of occasions. Florentino is going nuts to see Mourinho back at the club. If things don’t go well, Zidane won’t continue.”

Calderon also slammed the appointment of former player Zidane in place of Rafa Benitez, with the former France international lacking managerial experience and the Spaniard seemingly popular with the squad, if not the fans.

“I could tell the players were aware of a massive bombardment from the boardroom. They showed support for a coach who was sacked two weeks after being ratified and in his place they brought in a coach whose only experience was in the Segunda Division B,” he added.

“[Zidane] came from the Segunda División B, the Third Division in Spain. I hope he’s successful, it’s clear he has the respect and admiration of the players and he knows what a dressing room full of stars is all about. But he’s a Segunda B coach.

“In spite of all that, the team has shown great mental strength; the pedigree and intelligence within the side is not in any doubt at all.”