Zinedine Zidane has reportedly turned down an offer to return to crisis-stricken Real Madrid – but could resuming managing the club in the summer.
A Spanish television show on channel La Sexta, El Chiringuito de Jugones, understand an approach to bring the three-time Champions League winner back to the Bernabeu has failed, for now.
Florentino Perez made the offer after the record 13-time winners were dethroned as European champions after a 4-1 defeat by Ajax on Tuesday evening.
It has been a horror campaign in the Spanish capital, with Santiago Solari appointed to replace Julen Lopetegui who was sacked after just four-and-a-half months in charge.
Solari had eased tensions around the club but successive El Clasico defeats to Barcelona – including in the Copa del Rey semi-finals – and the humiliation by Ajax has left him on the brink.
Another former boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with a return but Real have first moved for Zidane, who left at the end of the previous season.
And while the 46-year-old is now interested in ending his year-long break from the game he is willing to take over in June ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
The news is a possible hit to Chelsea’s hopes of luring the ex-Juventus midfielder to Stamford Bridge.