Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and embattled Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, could form football's ultimate odd couple this summer. According to reports in The Daily Mirror, Perez wants Wenger to replace Jose Mourinho at the end of the season.
It is not a new rumour that Perez wants Wenger in La Liga. He has tried to get the Gunners chief to take over Los Blancos twice before. However, the idea of Wenger joining forces with Perez remains as intriguing as ever.
In terms of the footballing philosophy and traditions of Real, Wenger would be an excellent choice. He demands the kind of stylish, expansive and attacking football Perez is so enamoured with. However, the two men represent polar opposites in the philosophy of squad building.
Perez is the ultimate buy big and win now man. He created the controversial "galaticos" policy at Madrid and demands star names. That's in stark contrast to the financially frugal Wenger, who welcomes the challenge of developing teams based on youthful potential.
It may be fun to imagine the boardroom conversation in which Perez demands Wenger signs say Radamel Falcao for around £50 million. However, it would surely not work in practice. Wenger has become notorious for keeping his own counsel when it comes to transfers. This has driven more than a few Arsenal fans to despair, as the Gunners have been left behind by the big spenders.
Wenger would likely concentrate his efforts on reaping the talents from Madrid's excellent, but underused youth academy. Mourinho has shunned Madrid's young prospects with an almost cavalier disdain. While Wenger's differing approach is admirable, it also requires patience.
That kind of patience is in scant supply at Real Madrid. Wenger would be fortunate to last eight months without the prospect of winning a trophy, let alone the near eight barren years he has suffered at Arsenal. There's also the small matter of Wenger's current youth project with the Gunners.
He has recently secured the futures of six young British stars, led by Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. The Frenchman certainly seems to be keen on developing a new core to his squad. It is a move that poses many questions.
Is it something the under-pressure boss hopes to see through the long-term? Wenger's current deal only runs to 2014 and he has yet to commit to fresh terms. Arsenal's comparative recent struggles have made him seem like a disillusioned, isolated figure.
The pressure is certainly on Wenger from a growing number of Arsenal supporters. He could instead be hoping to establish a young core for future squads, to aid a soon to be appointed successor. However, that doesn't necessarily mean Wenger would be ready to jump ship to La Liga this summer. He has after all, made a point of respecting his contracts.
If he did land in Madrid, Los Blancos would have the right manager to restore the club's trademark attacking flair. That's assuming the thoughtful Wenger could handle the win-now culture of the Madrid job. That would probably depend on whether the methodical team-builder could co-exist with the splash the cash habits of the star struck Perez.
It is a bizarre set of contradictions that would be wonderfully entertaining to watch.51657