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Notes & Quotes: March 7, 2019; Open Thread

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New Mourinho rumors and Modric comments on terrible week for Real Madrid

Real Madrid v Ajax - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Modric reacts to terrible week for Real Madrid on social media

Luka Modric took to Twitter earlier on Thursday to reflect on what he dubbed the “most difficult week of his career” after the loss to Ajax on Tuesday.

“Most difficult week of my career.” Success is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall.”

Chances are Modric isn’t the only one who is having a difficult week. Most of the club are likely still shaken up over an absolutely devastating week for Real Madrid. With the two losses to Barcelona, an elimination in the Copa del Rey and likely LaLiga, and the loss to Ajax, the club is in complete disarray.

There’s really nothing left to play for this season, other than a top 4 spot. LaLiga isn’t officially over, but there’s not even a sliver that Real even get close to Barcelona now. On top of all this, injuries are starting to pile up with Vinicius, Vazquez, and now Carvajal.

So, Modric is speaking for all of his teammates since this is likely the lowest period of their careers, especially with all the success in the Champions League the last three seasons.

Jose Mourinho rumors are piling in now

Other than the negativity towards the state of the squad, there is also negativity towards Santiago Solari. It seems to be that Solari will be sacked at some point, whether it’s during the remainder of the season or when the summer hits.

Goal is rumoring that Mourinho is the replacement lying in wait should Solari be sacked during the season. TeleMadrid is also reporting the same thing in regards to Mourinho being the surefire replacement for Mourinho. Neither of these sources are very credible. As is the case with Real Madrid, there’s no truth to rumors until Jose Luis Sanchez confirms them since he is the top tier source for the club.

With JLS reporting that the club want Zidane to return, the only other rumor that has been tossed around frequently now is Mourinho. Before Solari was appointed as the interim back in October in place of Julen Lopetegui, all the rumors were about Antonio Conte. Those have now been dropped in favor of the jobless Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by Manchester United back in December.

Mourinho is not my first choice at all. While he was successful his first time around with Real, he has changed over the years since leaving in 2013. Before Solari was even promoted to interim from the Castilla, I initially vouched for Conte or Leonardo Jardim.

With Jardim returning to Monaco and Conte not interested, it’s really down to slim pickings. Although, Eusebio Di Francesco was just added to the market on Thursday after Roma sacked him following the loss to Porto.

The ideal replacements for Solari, should he be sacked, are Zidane or Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino is a long shot because Real would likely have to pay a large fee to convince Tottenham to let him go and there’s no sign he wants to leave what he has built in North London since joining.

Zidane returning would also be ideal, but the feeling has to be mutual, though JLS’ reports are encouraging given his great reputation. Honestly, it seemingly comes down to a Zidane or Mourinho return.

The one plus with Mourinho is that we know he can handle the pressure of Real Madrid and has succeeded in Spain. This would not be Real getting an inexperienced manager who doesn’t know LaLiga. So, the plus there is that sense of familiarity.

Time will tell what happens, I would lean more towards Solari getting the boot in the summer. It’s been a mind-boggling season from crisis under Lopetegui to crisis under Solari, it almost feels like two awful seasons wrapped into one.

Whether it’s Mourinho or Zidane (preferably Zidane), the club has to back them and changes need to be made past the manager and must include new signings for the squad in the summer. Needless to say, it can’t get much worse, so long as Real can finish the season in a Champions League spot for next year.