'Real Madrid have more suitors than Julia Roberts!'

The Spanish boss has dismissed widespread speculation that the ex-Blancos coach could be set for a sensational return to the club at his expense.  Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has laughed off suggestions that Jose Mourinho could be brought in to replace him at Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Madrid boss has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December, but he has been heavily linked with a return to the Spanish capital ever since.

Mourinho was previously in charge of the Los Blancos first team between 2010 and 2013, managing to win one La Liga title and the Copa Del Rey.

The Portuguese tactician hinted over the weekend that he would be open to a second stint at the Bernabeu , as he lines up his next opportunity at the highest level of the game.

Madrid have endured a turbulent 2018-19 campaign, struggling to maintain the high standards they have set in recent years after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus last summer.

Solari was brought in on an interim basis to replace the dismissed Julen Lopetegui back in October following a poor start to the season and after overseeing a quick turnaround in fortunes, he was offered a permanent two-year contract. 

Since then Madrid's form has been reasonably consistent but after losing twice to Barcelona in Copa Del Rey and La Liga fixtures over the last week, Solari's position has been called into question.

Ahead of Los Blanco's Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Ajax on Tuesday , the 42-year-old coach rejected the possibility of Mourinho being brought in to succeed him.

Solari told a press conference  on Monday: "This club has and has had more suitors than Julia Roberts. 
It seems quite normal to me.

Madrid's two defeats at the hands of Barca have left them facing the very real prospect of a trophyless season , with the European Cup now their hope of silverware between now and May.

Under Zinedine Zidane's stewardship, the club managed to secure three successive Champions League crowns, but they are not considered among the favourites for this year's trophy.

Solari went on to discuss his side's performances in recent matches, before insisting there is enough 'character' within the squad to bounce back quickly.

"It's a mixture of things. It is part of our work, to improve what we have to improve," he added. "Sometimes the ball hits the stick and enters and sometimes comes out. It is true that we had many chances in the game, less in the last. We have to specify them, that's football. 

"These players have experience and character. They have to have a clear conscience for having given everything and doing a good job, which was not enough to win.
 When we do not win we are not happy because we always want to win."

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