First Casualties of Mourinho Mop-Up: Madrid Madness 2.0 Rebooted?

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IMay 31, 2010

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 19:  Real Madrid team captain Raul Gonzalez (R) and player Guti use simultaneous translation headphones during a press conference ahead of tonight's Peace Match hosted by the Peres Center for Peace June 19, 2007 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Spanish league champions are in Israel as guests of the Peres Center for Peace to participate in the match against the center's Peace Team - a mixed group of Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
David Silverman/Getty Images

Mourinho becoming coach of Real is affecting all the transfer rumors originating and circulating before his imminent appointment. In fact, it has already begun, and as is the usual with coaches, names of many of his former players like Maicon, Diego Milito, Ricardo Carvalho, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are being floating around.

On the other hand, players that were previously linked to be strong candidates may now find themselves totally ignored as Manuel Pellegrini is gone.

Many Madrid players who were thought to be safe will now find themselves having to fend for another employer elsewhere because arrival of José Mourinho to Santiago Bernabéu mean exit of certain individuals who do not fit into his plan.

As is to be expected, defense will be the first area to be adjusted, and maybe overhauled to be in line with the new way of doing things.

Already Maicon, arguably the best right back in the world at the moment, has been linked to come with Mourinho who will replace Sergio Ramos on the right back position.

Álvaro Arbeloa also seems to be out of favor with Aleksandar Kolarov to be purchased from SS Lazio (or maybe Fábio Coentrão from Benfica) to become a first choice left back. Same fate may also await Marcelo & Royston Drenthe whose defensive credentials are ordinary.

Sergio Ramos looks set to move out of his favorite right back position and to the center of defense under Mourinho who thinks that, “Sergio Ramos can become one of the best central defenders in the world," a position not preferred by the player himself. Such a move is also destined to bench both Raúl Albiol and Ezequiel Garay and if David Luiz is purchased from Benfica then one of them may even leave or be sold.

In the midfield under-performing Esteban Granero is almost sure to get the ax from the starting XI alongside Fernando Gago.

Mourinho has also reportedly asked the club to resolve matters regarding future of Raúl and Guti, practically meaning departure of both long-serving veterans and legends of Real Madrid. He will preferably like to have Guti and Raúl gone so he could have more flexibility and room for his new purchases.

Guti said this season that it was going to be his last year at Los Blancos. Now he wants to stay another year, but Mourinho is having none of that.

"Guti, for me, is out. I read his statements and for me that is what counts. He said goodbye to the fans and left the field." said Mourinho.

What he wants with Raúl is yet not clear, but if his intentions can be read from his comments then he wants him gone as well.

"Veteran players deserve to be happy. They can be happy playing in another team or taking on another role in a team that they have called home for a long time. Raul has always been very calm. When I arrive, I would like to speak with him and we will see what happens." said Mourinho.

His interest in not-so-young Maicon, Ricardo Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard reveals a paradox (considering his views on Raúl & Guti) in his approach after what he said about them.

"I like players in the final stages of their careers. I love having players that are 33 or 34 years old. They are players that have qualities one cannot buy. Both [Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard] are great players that always give everything,”  Mourinho said.

Because of Mourinho’s propensity toward using a lone striker, Karim Benzema’s career may get back on track, but that of Gonzalo Higuaín doesn’t look good unless perhaps as a winger in a 4-3-3 formation, if applied.

Still there is a problem with that since Higuaín is not as powerful and imposing as Mourinho likes for flanks.

As some will leave to make way for others, Mourinho has also given hope to canteranos looking for first team soccer in a bid to improve and further their careers.

“I would also like to discover a youth player to convert into a star. It motivates me to take a player who was not playing very well and turn him into something spectacular,”  said Mourinho.

This is one remark sure to go down well with those fans who would like more players to be promoted and groomed for first team place.  This is something which has not been  given much importance in the last decade from Real Madrid Castilla.

Still a whole lot of things are unclear. Starting today, as José Mourinho is unveiled and lays out his plan of action in the next week before going on vacations, there is cetain to come an indication of the path to be followed in years ahead.

One thing is definitely set in stone, Mourinho's magic is coming to Real Madrid and La Liga.

Nineteen opponents, beware!