Arsene Wenger could head to Real Madrid this summer. Apparently, Jose Mourinho is no longer the darling of the fans and management at Madrid.
Real Madrid, who had sought to lure Wenger away from Arsenal in 2009, have renewed their interest in the french man again, Daily Mail reports.
"Arsene Wenger is on a two-man shortlist to replace Jose Mourinho as Real Madrid manager," writes Alex Kay.
"I don't know if I'll be at Real Madrid next season," he cites Mourinho as saying. This comes amidst reports that Mourinho has fallen out with some of the Madrid players.
According to The Guardian, Sergio Ramos lashed out at Mourinho last week after the latter criticized his performance in the club's encounter with bitter rival Barcelona.
Richard Williams writes:
Mourinho ignited an incendiary exchange when he accused Sergio Ramos of giving away their opponents' first goal by failing to follow his orders to mark Carles Puyol. When the player attempted to explain why he had switched to marking Gerard Piqué rather than Puyol, Mourinho responded: "So you're going to be the coach as well, are you?" "No," Ramos replied, "but looking at the situation in a match, sometimes you have to change the marking. But you, you've never been a player, so you don't know what sometimes needs to be done in that kind of a situation."
It appears then that "the special one" has lost his aura at Madrid, although we must point out that the revolt, if indeed there is one, may not be widespread among the players. Tribal football carried this report on its site on Tuesday:
It's emerged Mourinho is considering his future at Real after growing frustrated with the way he has been attacked in the press and the lack of loyalty from certain players.
Sport says should he decide to go, Mourinho could take with him his Portuguese contingent, all of whom were brought to the club by his agent Jorge Mendes.
The Guardian article, cited above, was quick to make a connection between Ramos' reported outburst against Mourinho and Robin van Persie's apparent show of dissent against Arsene Wenger's substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Andrei Arshavin in Arsenal's defeat to Manchester last Sunday at the Emirates.
Van Persie has since denied any rift between him and Wenger, who rescued him from a fallout with his then manager Bert van Marwijk at Feyenoord, a rift that led to his being demoted to the reserve team.
Van Persie, who mouthed what seemed a clear "no" at the manager's baffling substitution of Oxlade-Chamberlain insists there was no thought of subordination from him.
The manager and I are fine and my relationship with the club is good. I don’t want anyone misunderstanding the situation here for a moment. There is no problem, there is no conflict and there is no controversy. The boss knows that, I know that, the players all know that. But it’s important the Arsenal fans know that and that people in the game know that.
He elaborates on his reaction.
I was not questioning his judgment. I know it’s not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does. He is the boss, he makes the decisions and that’s it, end of story. I have worked with the boss long enough to know there’s always a good reason behind his decisions, and there was again on Sunday.
Unrest in the squad, coupled with the fans' current displeasure, could finally persuade Wenger it's time to move on to another challenge.
While some fans would see this as a welcome prospect, others would point to the longevity of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United as a fundamental factor in the club's success in the last decade-and-a-half, a factor they would like to see emulated at Arsenal.
Like Van Persie, Sergio Ramos has since issued a rebuttal to the rumor about his alleged rift with Mourinho.
As often happens, the next few days should put this rumor to rest.