Jose Mourinho exit to spark Real Madrid exodus?
Angel Di Maria, Pepe & Fabio Coentrao could all follow the Real Madrid manager out of the Bernabeu this summer
Should Jose Mourinho depart from Real Madrid this summer, you can be sure he will not be alone to walk out the doors of the Bernabeu.
When he does leave, a string of five other players who share the same agent, Jorge Mendes, and those who share close personal ties with him will probably set on the exit lane as well.
The controversial manager has said he may not be staying on for another season at Real Madrid, and has given a huge hint that he will be leaving in the summer.
His relationship with key players in the dressing room has deteriorated to the extent that they would probably not be able to work together as a cohesive unit for another season anyway.
As a result of this, he is expected to announce his leave from the club in the coming weeks, and Real Madrid are reportedly already scouring for another suitable candidate to hold the reins at the club. Carlo Ancelotti seems to be the leading candidate for the job.
Mourinho will be not be alone in relocating. A quintet of players, closely linked to him and also represented by Mendes, will reportedly be put on the market with the idea of recouping some of the money spent on them.
Number one is Argentina international Angel Di Maria. He has put on some fantastic performances for his club this season but his form seems to be fluctuating faster than the stock market at Wall Street.
His inconsistency has been duly noted by the Madrid faithful and the board believes they can find a better player to fill his boots. They believe he would attract interest from England and Italy and with the price set at about €20 million. It would be a fair trade for any manager that can bring out the best in Di Maria on a weekly basis.
Second on the list is Fabio Coentrao. Despite being one of the better performers for Madrid in the latter part of the season, the Portugal international is seen as being too close to Mourinho and the board doesn't believe that a new coach would feel comfortable with him in the squad.
One problem is that no club will match the €30m that Madrid paid for him two years ago, so he could end up being sold for significantly less.
Third will be fellow Portuguese Pepe, who also faces the axe. Despite a string of injuries, he has been overtaken by Raphael Varane in the race for the centre-back position alongside Sergio Ramos. His unpredictable temper makes him a liability at time and he earns way too much to be a bench warmer.
The club would hope to sell him for around €10m, although a suitable bidder would not be easy to find.
The fourth key player on his way out could be Alvaro Arbeloa. He is not represented by Mendes but is one of Mourinho’s closest allies in the dressing room.
There is a widespread consensus that there are better available options in the transfer market and there is even a possibility he may return to England for a similar price to Pepe.
The fifth and last player on the unwanted list is Ricardo Carvalho. At 34, the former Portugal international is past his best and looks likely to be released for free at the end of the season.
All of this transfer activity will no doubt involve the new coach of the club but the ultimate say will eventually go down to the president of the club. He would not want to make the same mistake of giving the manager too much power thus creating a power imbalance within the dressing room.
One player spared from this drama who also shares an agent with Mourinho is Madrid's star player Cristiano Ronaldo. Regardless of his affiliations with the manager or his agent, no club would ever in their wildest dreams think of losing him unless he himself wishes to leave.
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