'Real Madrid have more suitors than Julia Roberts!' - Solari laughs off Mourinho links
CGTN

Real Madrid "has always been more courted than Julia Roberts", said coach Santiago Solari on Monday about rumors of a possible return of Jose Mourinho.

Solari took over earlier this season and has a contract until 2021, but has just lost two Clasicos at home. He was speaking at a press conference ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Ajax at the Bernabeu in the Champions League, a competition Real have won the last three years and is the club's only hope of a trophy this season.

Mourinho managed Real for three stormy seasons from 2010 to 2013. Over the weekend he was a guest pundit on Qatar-based beIN Sport where he analyzed Real's latest loss to Barcelona.

"Return to a club that I have been before?" said Mourinho, who had two stints at Chelsea and was fired by Manchester United in December. "If I think the right club, the right structure, the right ambitions, I will have no problem at all."

"I think it's really a reason of pride when a club where you worked before wants you back," said Mourinho.

Solari responded with a joke about Roberts at his press conference on Monday. When asked whether the actress would prefer himself or Mourinho, the Argentine smiled.

"Good question," he said. "You should ask her."

"It is true that we have had lots of chances in recent matches, except in the last one, and we have to take them," said Solari.

"The dressing room is strong, these players have a lot of experience and a lot of character," Solari said. "That does not mean we're happy with what's happening."

"We want to win every game. When we do not win we are not happy, but tomorrow we have another game," he added.

"Giving Real up for dead"

Luka Modric, the veteran midfielder who joined Real before Mourinho's last season at the club, also spoke to the press and was more interested in talking about strikers than actresses or coaches.

Luka Modric says he is more interested in talking about the match with Ajax than coaches. /VCG Photo

Luka Modric says he is more interested in talking about the match with Ajax than coaches. /VCG Photo

"We do not pay much attention to rumors, we are focused on ourselves," the Ballon d'Or winner said. "In the world of Real Madrid, there is always talk about these things, we cannot prevent it."

"People are always giving Real up for dead, but Real always come back," the Croatian said. "In 2015 we won nothing. People said Real were dead, but you know what happened next. We started winning again. We have to trust ourselves."

Modric said the pressure was on to beat Ajax, with the holders leading 2-1 from the first leg in Amsterdam.

"It's a key match for this season," he said. "We want to be in the quarter-finals."

"Our problem this season is lack of continuity and a lack of goals," Modric said.

He acknowledged that the club was missing Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He is a player any team would miss and find a replacement for Cristiano is almost impossible," he said. "Cristiano scored 50 goals and you cannot find someone today who will score so many."

Modric said he had hoped "two or three players would score 15, 20 or 10 goals and that has not happened and I think it's our biggest problem this year."

Source(s): AFP