After over two years of calling for institutions and referees to treat Real Madrid more fairly, José Mourinho has asked Florentino Pérez to appoint Fernando Hierro as club spokesman, believing the former Madrid centre-back could exercise his influence in FIFA, UEFA, the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) and the LFP (Spanish Football League).
In Mourinho's eyes, Madrid have lost their influence in these organisations, to the benefit of Barcelona - as the refereeing disaster of the Manchester City game would prove- and the coach believes that the former Madrid captain, due to his charisma, his history as sporting director of the RFEF and his role as member of UEFA's Football Committee, a post he has held since 2008, is the ideal person to help Madrid recover their influence.
However, Florentino Pérez has given a resounding no to Mourinho's request. The president and Hierro are on bad terms and Florentino does not want to see Hierro return to Madrid's set up, and is instead considering offering David Beckham, soon to leave LA Galaxy, a role as club ambassador.
The dispute between Hierro and Florentino began in 2003, when, after Madrid won the league title, the club decided against renewing then coach Vicente Del Bosque's contract, and the squad, lead by Hierro, in protest at this decision, rejected the club's request to do a lap of honour of the Santiago Bernabéu after beating Athletic Bilbao. This lead to a furious argument between president and captain, and the following day both Hierro and Del Bosque were told to leave Madrid, despite the fact that two months earlier Hierro and the club had agreed to a contract extension.
After finishing his role as sporting director of the RFEF, Hierro was hired in the same role by Málaga, but left the post after a year due to disagreeing with how the club's owners were running the club, and failing to pay the players.
Now Hierro is out of work, and Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka has been speaking to him on behalf of Mourinho. Hierro hired Karanka as coach of the RFEF's under-16 team, which lead him to becoming Mourinho's number two at the club.
Florentino's rejection of Mourinho's proposal represents a check on the coach's enormous power within the club, which the president is uncomfortable with. After the Nacho debacle and Mourinho's comments against Castilla coach Alberto Toril, the president wants to make it clear that Mourinho's power is limited to the first team.
Mourinho clearly feels that he hasn't received the power he thought he was going to get after Mourinho named him sporting manager, at the expense of Jorge Valdano.
For Mourinho, Madrid need to have more of a presence in football institutions, and Hierro is the man for the job. On the other hand, the coach does not see the point of hiring Beckham as club ambassador, nor the reincorporation of Zinedine Zidane in the Madrid academy.
All this means that Florentino and Mourinho are not enjoying a great working relationship at the moment, demonstrated by Mourinho's sluggish attitude during a recent public relations exercise with Audi, and the coach's refusal to attend the opening of the new youth players' residency at Madrid's training ground.
Although Mourinho has a contract with Madrid until 2016, when asked about his future before the game with Manchester City on Wednesday, the coach did not make any promises he would see out the contract.
He said: "After all this time now is the moment to evaluate where you feel most comfortable and take a decision."