Madrid – Florentino Perez is already planning Real Madrid's future for the next few years - but without current coach Jose Mourinho.
According to media reports this week, Perez - one of Spain's richest businessmen through his construction companies - is already planning his campaign to be re-elected club president in the summer of 2013, for what would be a fourth four-year stint.
Perez, 65, is still fairly popular with the Real fans and members, despite the recent stumblings of Mourinho's team. He has recently changed the club's rules to make it more difficult for members to be candidates for the presidency, and therefore few opposition candidates are expected.
Even so, he is taking no chances, and is already putting together a strong campaign - based around a remodelled stadium, a new coach and new star signings.
Perez has an ambitious plan to put a retractable roof over the club's Estadio Bernabeu, and to increase revenue by building more shops and restaurants around the legendary stadium.
With regards to a coach, sports daily Marca - which has always been close to Perez - claimed on Monday that he is fed up with Mourinho's campaigns against both his internal enemies (certain players, club employees) and external enemies (referees, media, federation).
Portuguese sports paper A Bola claimed on Friday that Perez is determined to continue with Mourinho until his contract expires in 2016, but the Spanish media are unanimous in their conviction that the self-styled “Special One” will be leaving in June 2013 - if not earlier.
Mourinho's team are third in La Liga, a massive 11 points behind rampant Barcelona, and only managed to finish second in their Champions League group.
Perez has given Mourinho more internal power than any previous coach at Real, but now seems to be disappointed that the coach has largely used it to persecute his enemies - such as Jorge Valdano, sacked as sporting director in 2011 on Mourinho's insistence - rather than to give the club a coherent philosophy and structure.
In particular, Perez is irritated by Mourinho's campaign against Alberto Toril, the coach of the club's second division nursery side Real Madrid Castilla.
According to Marca, not even winning the Champions League would save Mourinho from being shown the door in June.
An online poll taken this week by AS showed that the readers' favourite to replace Mourinho would be Germany coach Joachim Loew.
Other popular candidates are former Italy boss Marcello Lippi, Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti, former France manager Laurent Blanc, Rafa Benitez - currently at Chelsea - Sevilla coach Michel and, irony of ironies, Toril.
However, whilst Perez is keen to see the back of Mourinho he is keen to keep star striker Cristiano Ronaldo at the club, despite the latter's recent whining about being sad and disappointed with the club.
Perez is prepared, according to media reports, to give Ronaldo the pay rise he is demanding, but only after finally managing to offload expensive flop Kaka.
Perez apparently wants to go into his re-election campaign not only with Ronaldo staying put and an attractive new coach lined up, but also with several exciting new signings in the pipeline.
According to Mundo Deportivo on Friday, these will be Radaeml Falcao from Atletico Madrid, Mario Goetze from Borussia Dortmund, and David Silva from Manchester City.
Other papers have also suggested Fernando Llorente, who is clearly unhappy at Athletic Bilbao.Author: Duncan Shaw