Madrid close in on Mourinho

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Real Madrid have parted company with coach Manuel Pellegrini, paving the way for Jose Mourinho to take over.

Pellegrini was midway through a two-year contract with the Spanish giants but pays the penalty for an unsuccessful first season in charge at the Bernabeu. Madrid, despite spending around 250million euros in bringing in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso last summer, suffered their second successive trophy-less campaign.

Madrid president Florentino Perez announced the news at a press conference on Wednesday evening at the Bernabeu following a board meeting. Perez also announced their intention to appoint Mourinho as the next coach of Madrid once his contractual situation with Inter Milan has been resolved.

"We have dedicated the last few weeks to analysing and reflecting upon the past season. And we have decided to bring to an end Manuel Pellegrini's time at the club," said Perez.

"We want to thank him and his team for their hard work, professionalism and conduct.

"The board also agreed to contract Jose Mourinho as the new coach of Real Madrid once his contractual relationship with Inter Milan has been resolved."

Mourinho, who led Inter to an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles, is under contract with the Nerazzurri until June 2012, but has a get-out clause in his deal which will be exercised should Madrid meet the fee of 16million euros.

Mourinho is confident he will be coaching in Spain next season and has no doubt Madrid will pay whatever is required to secure his services.

The 47-year-old met with Inter's finance director Rinaldo Ghelfi in Milan on Wednesday and afterwards told reporters: "Now I am on holiday, then I will go and work in Spain."

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