Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has backed Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
Mourinho’s future at the Bernabeu has come under intense speculation this season after a below-par Liga performance saw them all but relinquish the title before the winter break.
In light of this and the yet more mangerial upheaval at Chelsea, the 50-year-old has been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge, and Mata believes Mourinho’s fellow countryman Villas-Boas would be an ideal candidate to fill the Bernabeu hotseat after coming into his own at White Hart Lane.
He told Movistar: "I think Villas Boas is a great coach, modern, young, and with experience and qualifications, although his time at Chelsea did not go well at all.
“Myself and him have a great relationship and I will always be grateful. He's ready to coach any team."
The ex-Valencia playmaker, however, refused to discuss the possibility of Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge while Rafael Benitez remains in charge.
He added: "Chelsea have fond memories of Mourinho. Things went well under him, he won titles and the fans will have a great memory [of him], but today, Mourinho is the coach of Real Madrid and Benitez is Chelsea's coach. We have to be focused on that.
"Of course, Mourinho is one of the best coaches out there, but I do not know what will happen [with his future]. For now, I'm enjoying Benitez and his way of training."