Mourinho eyeing English stars?
By Ross Mackiewicz.
Jose Mourinho is set to take over the coveted hot seat of arguably the world’s biggest football club Real Madrid, and if he has his way three of England’s stars may be joining him.
The ‘special one’ bowed out in spectacular fashion last Saturday as he steered Internazionale to their first European Cup in forty-five years. It is no secret that Mourinho has been far from happy with life in Italy and has been coy over his future of late. But as he completed a marvellous treble with The Nerazzurri he confirmed that he’ll be departing Italy as he’s poised to take over the reins of Los Blancos.
Real’s president Florentino Perez confirmed during a press conference at The Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday that current manger Manuel Pellegrini had been dismissed, paving the way for the former Chelsea man.
Mourinho has been speaking to Spanish based newspaper ‘AS’ where he has been outlining his plans for the new Real Madrid. As well as discussing his possible formations and tactics, he mentioned a number of players attributed to his preferred roles. They included Maicon of Inter Milan, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole.
“I like players at the end of their careers. I love to have some players around 33 or 34-years-old. They are players that you cannot recoup the money from, but if you get two or three years out of them it is worth it. Both (Lampard & Gerrard) are two great players and always give everything.”
“I like to play with four at the back, although my teams are always ready to play with only three – a system I have used to win many games over the years.
“But normally we will play with four, but with two offensive full-backs in the style of Maicon and Ashley Cole.”
His comments are bound to add fuel to the fire of a potential raid on the Premier League by the Spanish giants as they look to bolster their star studded line up for an assault on domestic and European fronts next season.
It is hard to see Frank Lampard leaving Stamford Bridge after a scintillating campaign where he was part of a “double winning” side as well as netting 27 goals and aiding 20 assists. A phenomenal return from the midfielder. Despite his former manager’s interest, the England man turned down the chance to link up with Mourinho in Italy during the summer of 2008, instead opting to sign a five year contract extension with the West London outfit as he stated his intention of seeing out his career with the club.
Lampards Chelsea team mate Ashley Cole is being touted as ‘ready-made’ for Real’s left full back position. His future has come into question of late due to his personal life. It was reported this week that the 29 year old has become disillusioned with life in England as his off-field activities have been splashed all over the news where his wife Chery Colel is filing for their divorce. Madrid is looking for a left back as it has been a problem area for them for a number of seasons. Mourinho is a big fan of Ashley Cole as he lured him to Stamford Bridge after the 2006 FIFA World Cup. As they scour the planet for the world’s best talent, Cole is arguably the best in his position. Although his personal life has dominated his football for a number of years, the former Arsenal man has indicated a number of times of his fondness for Chelsea football club, but would a potential move to the continent make him thick twice about his future?
Steven Gerrard moving to the Spanish capital may be a real possibility. The Liverpool talisman has refused to commit his future to the ‘five time’ European cup winners after a disastrous season which has seen them miss out on next seasons Champions League and finish outside the top six for the first time in eleven years. Gerrard had an opportunity to link up with Mourinho at Chelsea in 2005 after requesting a transfer from Liverpool, just after they won the Champions League. Following an amazing u-turn, the Liverpool skipper opted to stay with Rafael Benitez’s side and signed a contract extension. Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks however has rubbished claims that the club are ready to offload the dynamic midfielder, along with Fernando Torres to ease crippling debts. Unfortunately with Liverpool’s owners seemingly ruining one of English football’s grandest clubs, Gerrard may be contemplating his future. Real Madrid are long term admirers and may be ready to test Liverpool’s resolve.
Mourinhos’ arrival will surely spark a host of rumours of potential targets. Angel di Maria of Benfica may be the first name through the door of Mourinho’s new home as Madrid are in advanced negotiations with his club.
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