‘This club has always had more suitors than Julia Roberts’: Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari insists he’s not worried about Jose Mourinho being linked to Bernabeu return
- Real Madrid take a 2-1 lead into second leg of Champions League tie with Ajax
- Coach Santiago Solari is under intense pressure following losses to Barcelona
- Jose Mourinho has been linked with a Bernabeu return as his replacement
- Solari scoffed at that, saying ‘this club has had more suitors than Julia Roberts’
Under-pressure Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari says he is not worried about stories linking Jose Mourinho to his job.
‘This club has always had more suitors than Julia Roberts,’ Solari told reporters in the press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s meeting with Ajax on Tuesday night.
Certain media in Madrid have been keen to push the possibility of a Mourinho return in recent weeks and the same media asked the coach on Monday: ‘There is a lot of talk of Mourinho, does it bother you.’
Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari raised a chuckle in his press conference ahead of their match with Ajax when he said ‘this club has always had more suitors than Julia Roberts’
Film star Roberts on stage at last weekend’s Oscars in Hollywood as she presents an award
Jose Mourinho, pictured during his spell as Real manager in 2013, has been linked with a return
The 42-year-old coach’s answer raised a laugh, as did his reply to a follow-up question that if Madrid is Julia Roberts and she has to choose between Solari and Mourinho who does she pick.
He said: ‘Good question. You would have to ask her.’
Solari is expected to leave Gareth Bale out of his starting line-up for Tuesday’s second leg but confirmed that the Wales international is fit and ready for the game.
Luka Modric was also questioned about Bale and told reporters: ‘We cannot forget what he has done for this club. It seems people forget very quickly.
‘Maybe he is not in his best form at the moment, but we all go through these moments in our career and he wants to work hard and get back to his best for the rest of the season.’
Football fan Roberts on the pitch at Man United’s Old Trafford ground back in 2016
Solari is under intense pressure following back-to-back losses to their bitter rivals Barcelona
The Real Madrid coach Solari keeps a close eye on Gareth Bale in training on Monday
Real Madrid fixtures
La Liga unless stated
Tuesday Ajax (H) Champions League last-16, second leg
Sunday Valladolid (A)
March 16 Celta Vigo (H)
March 31 (TBC) Huesca (H)
April 3 (TBC) Valencia (A)
April 7 (TBC) Eibar (H)
Real Madrid have a sizeable goals defecit this season and as they start to crash out of competitions they are beginining to feel the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric said: ‘Of course we miss Cristiano but he is not here and we cannot be asking for 10 years who will replace him.
‘The club put their faith in other players like Gareth, Karim and Asensio, and brought in Mariano and Vinicius who is doing very well here for his age.
‘The club wanted other players to step up, if not to score 50 goals, then 15 or 20. We need 20 goals from two or three players.’
Madrid could go through with just a 0-0 or even a 1-0 defeat after winning the first leg 2-1.
But coach Solari admitted Ajax would be helped by the Dutch league allowing them to rest without a fixture at the weekend.
Bale and his team-mates were training ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Ajax
Real take a 2-1 advantage into the second leg of the last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu