Mourinho gives green light as Carvalho seeks switch to Madrid

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The Independent Online

Ricardo Carvalho is set to leave Chelsea this summer with the defender hoping to secure a move to Real Madrid, who have been alerted to his availability. The Premiership champions are also unlikely to take up the option to turn Maniche's loan deal from Dynamo Moscow into a permanent transfer, leaving Paulo Ferreira as the club's only Portuguese player.

Carvalho, after an impressive first year at Stamford Bridge, has struggled to settle in England and his relationship with the manager, Jose Mourinho, has failed to recover after a public row at the start of the season which led to the 27-year-old being fined £100,000. He has, conspicuously, not made the Chelsea squad in recent weeks.

Mourinho is willing to listen to offers - indeed he told Carvalho he could go in August last year if anyone was willing to pay the £19.85m Chelsea paid Porto for him two years ago. That price tag remains prohibitive although it appears Chelsea are now willing to compromise and may accept less.

Carvalho, who is represented by Jorge Mendes, Mourinho's agent, has long harboured ambitions of playing for Real Madrid and had hoped to join them before he moved to Chelsea. He has shown little desire to play in England and would welcome a move.

It appears that his departure may also be part of a strategy to persuade William Gallas to stay. The Frenchman, who has just one year left on his contract, has made it clear he wants to play as a central defender and is listening to offers from Juventus and Milan, who are both keen to sign him although Chelsea are desperate to keep Gallas.

Maniche, another of Mourinho's former players at Porto, has failed to make an impact since his loan move in January. The 28-year-old wants to stay at Chelsea, but the club is unwilling to pay the £5m it would take to buy the midfielder who was recently sent off against West Ham.

Chelsea will also push ahead with plans to secure a big-name striker. Their first choice remains Andrei Shevchenko, although the Ukrainian's representatives insist he will stay at Milan.

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