Real Madrid have confirmed the sacking of manager Manuel Pellegrini, paving the way for Jose Mourinho to become the new coach at the Bernabeu.
Chilean Pellegrini led Real to their highest ever La Liga points total but failed to win a trophy, prompting his dismissal less than a year after arriving.
Despite Real spending €252 million on new players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, Pellegrini’s side finished second in the Primera Division, departed the Champions League at the last-16 stage and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by lower league Alcorcon.
Real president Florentino Perez thanked Pellegrini for his efforts and confirmed that the board supported the appointment of Mourinho as the new manager.
“We have dedicated the last few weeks to analysing and reflecting upon the past season. And we have decided to bring to an end Manuel Pellegrini’s time at the club,” Perez said. “We want to thank him and his team for their hard work, professionalism and conduct.
“The change of coach is always difficult, but we are convinced that after this first year and this first phase, now is the moment to give a new impulse to our project.
“A year ago we there was a huge and unprecedented effort to configure and put together a squad capable of aspiring to the maximum. We have advanced a lot, but we still have a lot of ground to cover.
“This club demands the maximum and is always in search of excellence. Winning and being leaders in Europe has always been the desire of our fans and therefore, that’s the objective of this board.
“The board also agreed to contract Jose Mourinho as the new coach of Real Madrid once his contractual relationship with Inter Milan has been resolved.
“There is nobody on the board who has given an opinion against the signing of Jose Mourinho, on the contrary, they are enthusiastic at being able to recruit one of the best coaches in the world.
“We are 100% behind the need for a change and we are very happy that Jose will be the man to take over the reins at Real Madrid.”
Mourinho, who led Inter to an historic treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles, is under contract with the Nerazzurri until June 2012, but has a get-out clause in his deal which will be exercised should Madrid meet the fee of €16 million euros.