Real Madrid are ready to offer Jose Mourinho a return to the Spanish capital and the best of the rest from Saturday’s papers.
Real Madrid want Jose Mourinho: Real Madrid are willing to offer Jose Mourinho the opportunity to return to the Santiago Bernabeu, that is according to former Madrid president Ramon Calderon. The Daily Mirror have run quotes Calderon gave to Al Jazeera Media Network’s beIN Sports in which Calderon claims that Madrid tried to lure the Portuguese back to Madrid last summer. Calderon adds that Rafa Benitez was Florentino Perez’s fourth choice behind Mourinho, Joachim Low and Jurgen Klopp.
Paper Round’s view: Mourinho’s tenure ended in acrimony and a divided changing room. A return now would be fraught with problems due to said acrimony. This is of course is not to say he won’t return at some point but the wounds from last time are just a little too raw for both parties as things stands. Furthermore, Paper Round questions the motives of Calderon – why reveal that Benitez was apparently fourth choice to be Real boss? It undermines the incumbent and destabilises the club.
Barcelona target Diego Costa: Chelsea star Diego Costa is a transfer target of Barcelona according to the Daily Express. The Express cite a story in Don Balon, which claims that Barca boss Luis Enrique is an admirer of Costa’s ability “to go to war” with defenders. The 27-year-old joined Chelsea in the summer of 2014 but has endured a difficult season this year with only one Premier League goal to his name.
Paper Round’s view: The likelihood of this happening appear slim. Barcelona’s forward line is arguably the best in the world and the chances of Costa holding down a regular place at the Camp Nou look remote. It is highly unlikely that a player at the peak of his career would accept a spot on the Barca bench. Furthermore, while Costa undoubtedly has his merits, it is arguable whether he has the skillset to fit Barca’s very specific footballing philosophy.
Dirk Kuyt on Barcelona’s radar: Dirk Kuyt’s exceptional run of form for Feyenoord has piqued Barcelona’s interest in the former Liverpool man, according to Sport. Kuyt moved to former club Feyenoord over the summer and has since scored 10 goals in 10 games for the Rotterdam club. Barcelona’s transfer embargo ends in January and the club need to bolster their front line after selling Pedro over the summer and losing Rafinha to long-term injury.
Feyenoord Rotterdam's Dirk Kuyt signs autographs during the team's presentation to supporters on an Open Day at Feyenoord stadium in Rotterdam July 19, 2015.
Image credit: AFP
Paper Round’s view: This story is lent some credence by the fact that it makes logical sense. Kuyt is 35, and offers a short-term solution to a short-term problem. He would, in all likelihood be more open to the role of back-up given his age and would offer an option from the bench that would be more suited to the Barca approach than say a Diego Costa. This all boils down to whether Kuyt and Feyenoord are open to such a move.
Martin Odegaard wants a loan switch: Martin Odegaard wants a loan move away from Real Madrid this summer according to the Daily Mail. Odegaard has made just one senior appearance for Madrid since his switch from Stromsgodset. The Norway international was linked with a move to Getafe over the summer but is thought to favour a move away from Spain to further his footballing education.
Paper Round’s view: Given the quality of Madrid’s first team squad, Odegaard was never going to waltz into the first team. He has now had a year’s worth of experience with Castilla who currently operate in Segunda División B. Quite patently, a player of Odegaard’s undoubtedly ability should be playing at a higher level than División B, which represents the third tier of Spanish football. Odegaard’s progress would obviously be better served by playing at a higher level, so a loan move would make sense for all parties.