'Zidane has already rejected Real Madrid but could still return'

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2017-18
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Ex-Blancos president Ramon Calderon says that the French manager has turned down overtures from the club in the wake of their shock loss to Ajax

Zinedine Zidane has already rejected the chance to return to Real Madrid but has left the door open for a return this summer, according to former club president Ramon Calderon.

The French legend left his post this past summer after leading the Blancos to three consecutive Champions Leagues, prompting Madrid to hire Julen Lopetegui in his stead.

Lopetegui lasted mere months before departing as the club spiralled and was replaced by Santiago Solari.

Solari, though, is now expected to leave the club at the end of the season, if not sooner, after the European champions were beaten twice by Barcelona before suffering a shock Champions League elimination against Ajax.

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Calderon says Zidane has already rebuffed the club in the wake of that loss as the rumours continue to swirl over where the club will turn.

"I know that this morning the president [Florentino Perez] called Zidane to ask him back, he said not now," Calderon told BBC.

"He has left open the possibility of coming back in June."

Another ex-Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has been widely linked with the job, with Calderon saying that there is a very good chance Real will turn to their former boss. 

Jose Mourinho Man Utd 2018-19

The Portuguese boss has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December, and Calderon says that, while he is the favourite, he may not be the right choice.

"The first option for the president has always, always been Mourinho," Calderon said.

"But the problem is who is going to run the club in the office? They are talking of the possibility of Zidane or Mourinho - they are completely different coaches with completely different ideas of football.

"It is an erratic and whimsical president who has brought us to this situation.

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"There is the option of bringing in Mourinho now, but to me there is no point.

"At this moment of the season anything you do is going to be wrong, I suppose that they will wait until the end of the season but this is very long time, three months, to suffer all the critics and the anger of the fans."

Real Madrid, 12 points off the lead in La Liga, are set to travel to Real Valladolid on Sunday.