Jose Mourinho in Real row with Rafa Benitez


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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at Rafa Benitez after the Chelsea manager hinted he could be Real Madrid’s coach next season.

Benitez was told by Spanish radio Onda Cero that Real Madrid were interested in employing him when his contract runs out at Chelsea.

The Chelsea boss replied: “I know things, but I am not going to say anything about Real Madrid because I don’t think I should.”

Asked about Benitez’s open-ended answer Mourinho said: “As a Chelsea fan all I can say is that I hope he wasn’t thinking about Real Madrid during the Corinthians game.

Benitez oversaw Chelsea’s defeat to the Brazilian side in the World Club Cup last Sunday.

Mourinho is expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and Benitez is among the Spanish club’s options going into next season.

Asked about drawing Manchester United in the next round of the Champions League, Mourinho said it was too far away to pass comment.

But he did lament the current form of his team as they go into their last game of the year against Malaga.

He said: “We have to improve in all aspects of the play. We are not happy with our numbers from these first months of the season.

The game against Malaga today is Mourinho’s 400th in top-flight football and he questioned whether his players had the same desire to go on winning.

He said: “I did not realise about reaching 400 games until I was told but I know that in time I have lost less than 40 games. That is less than 10 per cent defeats.

“I have never been found wanting in terms of motivation. The players have to find that motivation and improve.”

He all but ruled out winter transfer window signings but underlined Madrid’s lack of strength in depth.

He said: “I think the winter market is not something that works for Madrid. I don’t think anyone will be coming in or going out.

“We have five defenders fit for this game. Four of them will be in team and the other one will be on the bench.”