Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has slammed the door shut on a potential return for axed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea parted with Mourinho by mutual consent on Thursday, after the Premier League champions suffered nine defeats in 16 matches.
With Madrid coach Rafael Benitez under pressure, Mourinho has been linked with a possible return to the Spanish capital.
But speaking to Cadena Ser, Perez said Mourinho would not replace Benitez, insisting the former Napoli boss’ job is save at the Bernabeu.
“Rafa Benitez will not be replaced,” Perez said.
“Although some media has said he will, I repeat that coaches are appointed by the club and Benitez has come to solve a problem. He is the solution, not the problem.
“Will Mourinho coach Madrid again? Nobody can predict the future, but right now I say no.”
Perez admitted he looked back fondly on Mourinho’s time at the club.
“I have very good memories of Mourinho. He raised the competitive level,” Perez said.
“When he got here … we occupied 13th place in the UEFA rankings and Mourinho got us back to the top and helped us play three [Champions League] semi-finals in three years.
“But Benitez is coach of Real Madrid now. We chose from many and we thought that he was the right person for this moment.
“After we won the Club World Cup we began a gradual deterioration from January and needed a new impetus. We believe Rafa Benitez must be given time.”