Is Florentino Perez losing the plot? Fans might think that’s the case when they discover who the Real Madrid president attempted to lure to the Bernabeu just six weeks ago.
Perez was already looking for a replacement for the doomed Rafael Benitez, who was sacked after just seven months in the Madrid hot-seat this week, back in November.
And one of the coaches he approached, according to the well-connected Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter, was none other than Barcelona icon Pep Guardiola. No, really.
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"It's a fact that six weeks ago they (Madrid) approached him and asked him 'would you take over?” Hunter revealed on BBC 5 Live.
"It says something about Madrid that they could get it so wrong, that one of the great anti-Madridistas was approached by them."
Guardiola turned the opportunity down - obviously
Hunter also revealed that Guardiola told Real Madrid “No, thank you” and briefly explained, not that he really needed to, that he wouldn’t fit in at the Bernabeu.
Guardiola is a proud Catalan who has loved FC Barcelona since childhood. A former player and revered coach of the reigning European champions, the idea that he would agree to manage his beloved club’s fiercest rivals is nothing short of ludicrous.
Perez turns to Zidane
Perez is under pressure at Real Madrid after sacking two managers in the space of seven months - Carlo Ancelotti was fired at the end of last season, despite winning La Decima in May 2014, while Benitez followed suit on Monday evening - and the onus is now on the inexperienced Zinedine Zidane to ensure Los Blancos finish the season with at least one major trophy.
Guardiola is moving to the Premier League
Guardiola, meanwhile, revealed his a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that he wants to work in the Premier League after it was announced he will be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
Manchester City are favourites to land the 44-year-old, although Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with the world’s most sought-after coach in recent weeks.
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