| 11.4°C Dublin

Mourinho accuses press of trying to 'destabilise' Real

REAL Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at the latest round of transfer speculation and accused the Spanish press of trying to "destabilise" the Primera Division leaders.

Mourinho was angered by morning reports linking Madrid with a summer move for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, with Gonzalo Higuain going the other way.

The Portuguese, speaking at a press conference ahead of tonight's Champions League quarter-final second leg against APOEL Nicosia, said: "You (the press) want to destabilise the squad. Last week I had signed for (Manchester) City, (Iker) Casillas was going to Schalke, Higuain to Malaga ..."

On the Higuain-Aguero story, he added: "The front cover of (newspaper) AS is false.

"If you want me to comment on false front covers then forget it."

The club's director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno also dismissed the suggestion of selling Argentina international Higuain.

"Rumours seem to be inevitable," he said.

"But we are delighted with Higuain. He's scored 24 goals in 20 league games and just remember I was the league's top scorer with 19.

"He is a world-class striker and we intend for him to stay here many years.

"He arrived here very young and we regard him as a club player.

"He has always behaved impeccably, whether he plays or not."

Mourinho said yesterday that Real would give Apoel Nicosia the respect they deserve by fielding a strong team in tonight's Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Bernabeu, despite holding a healthy 3-0 advantage from the first match.

"I won't make many changes," Mourinho said.

"It is a Champions League game. Few believe Apoel will score four goals here tomorrow but in football you must show respect and to the fans as well."