JOSE MOURINHO is free to take charge of Real Madrid after Manchester United paid him £15 million compensation.
The Special One has been contacted by the La Liga side about making a sensational return to the Bernabeu this season.
But the 55-year-old was not able to accept a contract with another club until the pay-off negotiations were complete.
Mourinho has received the payment after his agent Jorge Mendes met up with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
According to the Daily Mail, a source close to the manager said: “There are no issues over Jose’s contract with Manchester United. Everything has been sorted.
“Jose is able to take on another job right now, but is in no rush.
“He is very relaxed about it and would be happy to wait until the end of the season if he needs to.”
That frees him up to talk to Real, and there are claims in Portugal that he will meet with Benfica in the coming days to hear what they have to say.
Mourinho was in charge of Madrid from 2010 until 2013 when he guided them to La Liga glory and won the Copa del Rey.
Los Blancos recently hired Santiago Solari, but they remain 10 points behind Barcelona after 18 league games.
The source added: “There has been no contact, but they did get in touch with Jose after Lopetegui was dismissed.
MOST READ IN SPORT
Real's Solar eclipse
JOSE MOURINHO is being lined up for a sensational return to Real Madrid as the Bernabeu fans turn on Santi Solari.
The Portuguese could rejoin the European champions who are fifth in La Liga, but how would the “Special One” cope if he does go back to the world’s biggest club?
SunSport weighs up the potential winners and losers.
Gareth Bale is not having the best season since Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane left but has a fan in the dugout with Jose Mourinho.
The news may not be as good for Karim Benzema or skipper Sergio Ramos, who forced the tactician out last time round.
And the Madrid press are in for a bumpy ride after tearing into Mourinho during his first spell at the club.
“But he told them he was the manager of Manchester United and totally committed to the club.”
Mourinho has reportedly told them he will only return if he is guaranteed signings during this month’s transfer window.
He was also tipped to make a return to Benfica – where he started his managerial career in 2000.
The Portuguese side told him “money is no issue” as they desperately attempted to lure him back to his homeland.
This post written by Joseph Miles originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.