Mourinho still keen to strengthen his squad
JOSE MOURINHO insists that Real Madrid’s squad is not yet finalised, despite the arrival of Luka Modric from Spurs. The Portuguese coach said that the Croat was his first choice, “way ahead of anyone else”, but added that there may still be movement between now and the close of the transfer window on Friday.
Madrid continue to look for a right-back and Mourinho made it clear once again that he wants both Kaka and Ricardo Carvalho to leave the club.
“[The window] is not closed,” Mourinho said, “either for departures or arrivals.”
Carvalho has attracted interest from the Premier League, while Milan have admitted they would like to take Kaka back on loan but Madrid would prefer to recover some of the €81 million they spent on him and the Brazilian has shown little willingness to take a cut on wages that stand at almost €9 million a year. There is also English interest in the midfielder Esteban Granero.
Asked about the conversation he had with Kaka, Mourinho responded: “There are questions that I cannot answer. I cannot tell you in detail what I have said to certain players. It will be 30 August [sic] in a couple of minutes. If he [Kaka] goes, he goes. If not, he will be here and we will have to try to get the best out of him.”
Mourinho added: “Ricardo Carvalho does not form part of our plans for the season. He has a contract with the club so we have to respect that. He has very many possibilities to leave. There are different teams in different leagues who are interested in him. The decision now is his and only his. He has to decide if he wants to play football or just stay at Madrid and see out his contract.”
Modric was presented as a Real Madrid player on Monday after a long wait and the debate in Spain has centred on where he will play and whether his signing was really a priority, considering the strength of the starting XI at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Modric was surprisingly clear in expressing his preference to play as a central midfielder on Monday and the following day Mourinho was adamant that the Croat was not bought on a whim.
“Modric was our very first option, a long way ahead of anyone else,” he said. “When we buy a player we know where he feels comfortable. We know why we waited so long and why he was our first choice. He will play in a position that is his. I’m sure he won’t play at left-back or centre forward.”
Modric’s papers have been cleared in time for tonight’s Super Copa second leg against Barcelona. But Mourinho, like Modric, appeared to rule out his involvement – at least from the start.
“He has only played a few minutes in a friendly in Croatia,” Mourinho said. “He will be ready in a short time. Because of his characteristics he is not the kind of player that takes a long time to be fit.”
Madrid trail 3-2 from the first leg against Barcelona and were defeated 2-1 by Getafe at the weekend, meaning they have opened the season without a win in three games – the worst start to a season Mourinho has endured in his career.
But the coach claimed that Madrid did not have to change anything they had done in the first leg against Barcelona.
“I have spoken to the players but I have got nothing to say about that,” he said. “We met, I told them what I had to say but I do not want to tell you.
“What I want to know is whether the psychological profile we showed against Getafe is just a temporary thing or the product of a psychological mind-set that has been building up. We can lose. The fundamental thing for me is to see what players I have got and what psychological profile they have.”