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May 27, 2010

Mourinho reveals transfer plans for Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho has revealed his transfer plans for his new job at Real Madrid and hinted that he could target English midfield duo Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

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Mourinho is set to take charge at the Santiago Bernabeu once terms have been finalised between Real and European champions Inter Milan, after Madrid sacked Manuel Pellegrini on Wednesday night to clear the way for his arrival. Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, Mourinho lifted the lid on his plans for new recruits as he bids to challenge Barcelona's dominance of La Liga.

"I like players at the end of their careers. I love to have some players around 33 or 34-years-old,'' he said. "They are players that you buy which you cannot recoup the money from, but if you get two or three years out of them it is worth it. Both (Lampard and Gerrard) are two great players and always give everything."

Mourinho dismissed the idea of signing Benfica left-back Fabio Coentrao, describing him as a Portuguese Marcelo (who already plays at Madrid), and distanced himself from a move for Angel Di Maria as well.

"Di Maria is a fantastic player in a smaller league,'' he said. ''I have doubts about how he can perform in a championship like Spain or Italy. If he is available at an affordable price then I will take the risk, but the price is extortionate, and I do not like my clubs to pay crazy prices for players. I want three or four defensive players, but we need to improve the attack as well."

Speaking on possible formations, Mourinho hinted he could move for Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, who has been linked with a move to join his former boss in the summer, but also admitted his admiration for Inter's Maicon on the other side of defence. "Normally I play with four at the back, with two offensive full-backs like [Ashley] Cole and Maicon. Then a triangle in midfield and three forwards," he said.

Mourinho also responded to the Madrid fans who want to win, obtain titles but also see good football: ''My Madrid will always play well, attack and will be winners. However, there will be times when we will have to face the game in a different manner.

''Having said that, my team always goes out on the pitch with a clear idea: to win. And if we are winning 3-1 and we only have 10 players on the pitch, then my players will have to sit back to defend. That's the way it is.

''It's very difficult during 90 minutes to always be better than your opponent. There's always a time in which you need to be a team and make sacrifices. It will be a balanced team. A team that plays to win titles must be aware aware of its virtues and its defects and has to work as a unit.

''A team that wants to win titles has to win games and a team that wants to win games has to play well. We will be a side with its own identity, we will not imitate anybody. The identity will be set by the players and me. For this we will have to work very hard.''

While he was cagey about his future at Inter before the Champions League final, Mourinho admitted that he had already made the decision to move before he lifted the trophy.

"Before the final, a decision was made to come to Madrid. After that Inter knew it was not about a new contract or money. I want to coach Real," he concluded.

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