President Florentino Perez believes Jose Mourinho is the perfect man to give Real Madrid the "fresh impulse" he feels the Spanish giants need in the wake of yet another disappointing campaign.
Perez confirmed at a press conference at the Bernabeu yesterday evening that the club had parted company with coach Manuel Pellegrini and that Mourinho was their chosen replacement for the Chilean.
Madrid will have to wait until Mourinho resolves his contract negotiations with Inter Milan, with whom he has a deal until June 2012, to confirm the Portuguese as their new coach. However, it seems only a matter of time before Mourinho becomes Madrid's 11th manager in seven years, and Perez is adamant the hugely successful 47-year-old is the right person for the job.
"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 fresh impulse to our project," he said.
"I am absolutely convinced that the incorporation of Mourinho, who is one of the best coaches in the world -- if not the best -- is an opportunity that, in this Madrid, which fights permanently for excellence, we couldn't let pass us by."
Perez sanctioned a €250million spending spree on new players last summer after returning to the Madrid presidency for the second time. But Madrid finished the season empty-handed for the second successive campaign, leading to Pellegrini's exit.
Madrid have now won just two major trophies in the last seven years, whilst being knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage in each of the last six editions.
"A year ago there was a huge and unprecedented effort to configure and put together a squad capable of aspiring to the maximum," said Perez.
"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."
Mourinho, who led Inter to an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles this season, is under contract with the Nerazzurri for another two years but has a get-out clause in his deal which will be exercised should Madrid meet the fee of €16m.
The former Chelsea and Porto manager met with Inter's finance director Rinaldo Ghelfi in Milan earlier yesterday and afterwards told reporters: "Now I am on holiday, then I will go and work in Spain."