Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says there had not been a concrete offer to Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti and that others are under consideration to work under sporting director Zinedine Zidane next season.
Ancelotti is widely seen as Madrid's main target to replace Jose Mourinho at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with outgoing Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes a distant second choice and no other serious names thought to be under consideration.
However, Perez told Spanish radio station COPE on Wednesday night that no approach had been made to the Italian, suggested Madrid had been misled over his contract situation and were now looking at other options that would not be followed up until he was confirmed in his new presidential term next week.
"Ancelotti cannot say he has an offer from Madrid because he does not have one," Perez said. "I wanted to bring Carlo here in 2005 and again in 2009. Now someone told us that his contract was ending this year, and that is not the truth. There are more coaches than him - a number have been in touch with us through their agents, but we have not reached any agreement with anyone. First the elections and from Tuesday we will see."
The new man would need to work closely with Zidane, with the Frenchman having final call on sporting matters, Perez said.
"Zidane will be the one in charge, the man around whom sporting matters will turn," he said. "He has evolved a lot in this matter. He is very 'madridista' and the person who can best lead this project."
Asked if it would be a good idea for Madrid to appoint a manager who would stay at the club for decades and build a legacy, as Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United, Perez suggested the Scot's record at Old Trafford would not have been seen as such a success at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
"We would like another Ferguson but, with all the respect I have for him, he only won two European Cups in 26 years," he said.
Perez also repeated his claim that unfair personal criticism from the Spanish media had led to Mourinho's leaving Madrid by mutual consent.
"The criticism of Mourinho was not normal when professional things were confused with personal things," he said. "It is not easy to adapt to that pressure - even for me there are still things that shock me. The pressure from the media, orchestrated, is capable of breaking down the President of the United States."