Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has rejected the chance to join Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The former Liverpool and Valencia boss is reportedly keen to work under a sporting director at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the newspaper claims it will not be his colleague of the past two seasons.
Bigon could now stay in southern Italy after all, having been previously expected to follow the 55-year-old out of the San Paolo.
Benitez is understood to have made it clear to Madrid bosses that a sporting director would create a much-needed bridge between the dressing room and management.
Los Blancos have not employed someone in the role since Jorge Valdano was fired on the recommendation of then-Coach Jose Mourinho in 2011.