The 29-year-old has been linked with a £35m move to Old Trafford after contract talks with the Spanish giants came to a standstill. The player wants to match Gareth Bale at €10m a year, but the club are only willing to offer €7.5m according to MARCA.
However, there could be an ulterior motive from Los Blancos’ hierarchy in this situation. The Express believes that they are offloading the Spain international as part of a plan to bring back Mourinho. Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, and Angel Di Maria have already gone as part of this.
The Express adds that they could even be willing to let Iker Casillas, Pepe, and Cristiano Ronaldo go to this end, ridding the club of the group of players who had actively opposed Mourinho while he was in charge at the Bernabeu.
The Blues are unsurprisingly keen to keep their boss, who has won a whole host of honours in two spells in West London to become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. This month there were reports including this in the Sunday Times claiming that the 52-year-old was to be offered a two-year contract extension to his current deal, which ends in 2017. However, there has been little update or confirmation since then.
Even so, it would likely be very difficult to prise the Portuguese away from Stamford Bridge, with The Guardian reporting in 2013 that he is aiming for a 12 year stay at the helm.
He said: “Realistically I hope at the end of those four years we sit, analyse the situation and that will be the point where we both – club and me – are happy to carry on or happy to separate. But I would like [to stay for], say, 12 years. I’m 51 next month. I’d say 12 years, and then two to go to a World Cup with a national team. I would prefer the Portuguese national team. England second [choice], yes.”
Recently appointed Galacticos boss Rafa Benitez will surely also be unhappy at these reports. The former Liverpool manager seems to be getting undermined before he has even led the team in a single game.