Top 10 Real Madrid Transfer Targets Who Would Fit Jose Mourinho's System
The transfer window opens today, and the newly-appointed Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho, will be deciding who he wants to lure to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The question is, who is likely to be on this list? Read on for a countdown of some of the players the Special One will be targeting, and a few others he may only be able to dream of managing...
10. Didier Drogba
A pipe dream perhaps, but Mourinho's connection with Drogba runs deep. The striker was absolutely distraught when Mourinho left Chelsea in 2007.
He brought Drogba to Chelsea in the summer of 2004 for £24 million, a big gamble on a striker who had only had one standout season at Marseille.
It paid off. Drogba is now a key player for the club, and scored 37 goals last season as Chelsea won the Double.
Mourinho may make a cheeky bid, but expect it to be dismissed straight away by Chelsea.
9. Frank Lampard
At 32, Frank Lampard is nearing the end of his career, and a summer move to Real Madrid might be his last chance for a new challenge.
Such a move would be made with a heavy heart by the Chelsea legend. He is the club's highest-scoring midfielder of all time, and is worshipped down at the Bridge.
As with many of the players on this list, the force of Mourinho's personality will be a key factor. He crafts strong relationships with his players, and Lampard is no exception.
8. Ashley Cole
It has been a turbulent season for Ashley Cole.
He very nearly missed the World Cup with an ankle injury, and his private life was splashed across the tabloids after his split from his wife Cheryl.
Factor in that he is not the most popular player in the Premier League—he is routinely booed whenever Chelsea play away from home—and a clean break for him might be on the table.
The Blues would be loath to lose arguably the best left back in the world, so it will be up to Real to force their hand with a substantial offer if he does decide to head for Madrid.
7. Ricardo Carvalho
Mourinho has said before that he likes to work with players that are nearing the end of their careers, and the 32-year-old Ricardo Carvalho comes into this category.
His injury problems over the last couple of years have allowed Alex and Branislav Ivanovic an opportunity to stake their claim. They have done a very good job, and Carvalho's absence has not been keenly felt.
Therefore, the powers that be in West London may decide to let the centre back go.
Michael Mancienne has returned from a loan spell at Wolves, and Jeffrey Bruma, the young Dutch defender, will be a part of the first team set up next term.
6. Marco Materazzi
The colourful defender was seen openly crying when Mourinho left Inter Milan in May, and Mourinho might judge that the Italian is just what he needs to sort out Real Madrid's often porous defence.
At 36, he wouldn't cost a great deal, although he would only be a short term option at the back.
5. Carlos Tevez
Dedicated, passionate, and hard working, Carlos Tevez embodies many of the qualities that Jose Mourinho looks for in his players.
Real Madrid spent big on attacking talent last summer, buying Karim Benzema, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Ronaldo was the only one of the trio that made his mark in La Liga.
As he plots the dethroning of Barcelona, Mourinho may decide he needs some grit in his attack.
Tevez would provide just that.
4. Angel Di Maria
Reports suggest this is already a done deal. The Benfica player has apparently signed a six-year contract, with the transfer fee in the region of €25 million (£20m).
Mourinho is not renowned for his work with younger players, but he has helped their development before.
The most notable case is Joe Cole.
Five years ago, the England international was undoubtedly talented, but was often criticised for trying too many tricks. Mourinho turned him around, gleaning more of an end product from the midfielder and also improving his defensive abilities.
He may feel he can do the same with Di Maria, instilling the philosophy that has served him so well as he has gone from club to club.
Currently on World Cup duty with Brazil, the full back has been heavily linked with a move to Spain.
No. 1 for club and country, he would likely be a hit in Madrid as he is solid at the back and also likes to get forward.
This is something Mourinho employed to good effect at Chelsea, with players like Wayne Bridge, Ashley Cole, Paulo Ferreira, and Michael Essien.
Maicon demonstrated his attacking abilities by scoring against North Korea in the group stages of the World Cup.
The Brazilian was imperious as Inter Milan swept to a historic treble last season. In the last 16 against Chelsea he managed to keep Didier Drogba quiet—no mean feat.
He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe at the moment.
Don't be at all surprised if Mourinho makes an effort to try and lure him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
1. Steven Gerrard
There is no doubt the Portuguese is a bid admirer of the Liverpool midfielder. Back when Mourinho was manager of Chelsea, he tried to sign Gerrard in the summer of 2005. That summer he missed out, but this time around it could be a different story.
The Reds finished a disappointing seventh in the Premier League last season and the club is not on a stable financial footing.
In addition there are rumours—and they are only that at the moment—about his private life swirling around.
Can Roy Hodgson persuade him to stay? A bid of around £30 million may prove be too good to turn down.
Now it's your turn...
What do you make of the list? Which of these 10 are most likely to end up in Madrid come the start of the season?
Is there anyone you think I have missed out?
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