Villas-Boas can replace Mourinho at Real Madrid, says Mata

Madrid: Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has backed Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

The 50-year-old’s future at the capital club has come under intense speculation this season after a below-par Liga performance this season, and the Spaniard feels his old boss would be an ideal candidate to replace him.

He told Movistar: "I think Villas Boas is a great coach, modern, young, and with experience and qualifications, although his time at Chelsea did not go well at all.

“He and I have a great relationship and I will always be grateful. He`s ready to coach any team."

The ex-Valencia playmaker, however, refused to discuss the possibility of Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge while Rafael Benitez remains in charge.

He added: "Chelsea have fond memories of Mourinho. Things went well under him, he won titles and the fans will have a great memory [of him], but today, Mourinho is the coach of Real Madrid and Benitez is Chelsea`s coach. We have to be focused on that.

"Of course, Mourinho is one of the best coaches out there, but I do not know what will happen [with his future]. For now, I`m enjoying Benitez and his way of training."