Mourinho hints at Gerrard hunt after heaping praise on English stars
Jose Mourinho has been praising the virtues of the English box-to-box midfielder leaving Madrid press to speculate that despite his prediction of a quiet summer at the Bernabeu, a move for Liverpool's Steven Gerrard could yet come to pass.
"The truth is that the club is happy with the players from last season. We do not need big changes in this squad," said Mourinho on Monday.
But when asked about possible new additions on Spanish radio yesterday he did everything but mention the England midfielder by name when he said: "Central midfield is a very important position. And at this moment in time there are very few players about who you can say this player is a complete midfielder.
"In football we have attacking midfielders and we have defensive midfielders but there are very few what they call in England box-to-box midfielders. It is very difficult to find the complete midfielder who is defensively strong and who can also attack and score goals."
Madrid daily 'Marca' wasted no time in dedicating a full page to a mock photo of how the Liverpool captain would look in Madrid's colours. Real's difficulty in finding the central midfielder that Mourinho has identified they need may bring them to Liverpool's door, and they will hope to take advantage of their instability off the field and their non-participation in the Champions League on it.
Real are understood to prefer Roma midfielder Danielle de Rossi but know the player will not leave the club he joined as a boy. Asked who he thought the best midfielder in the world was, Mourinho also praised Chelsea's Frank Lampard. He said: "There are players who are playing in a certain football culture and it is difficult to say how they would do away from that culture.
"You cannot say for example that Lampard in La Liga would score 30 goals. In England he scores 25, 26, 27 goals every season. Just as you cannot say that a Xavi or a David Silva would have the same quality of their play in England or Italy." (© Independent News Service)