Mourinho's praise for 'box-to-box' stars reignites Gerrard speculation

Jose Mourinho has been praising the virtues of the British 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, adding that it would be the World Cup in South Africa and not new signings making the headlines.

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 arrive in the box 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 will not repeat last year's record-breaking spending spree but the 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 the Anfield club's instability off the field and its 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: "It is difficult to say who is the best in the world because there are players who are playing in a certain football culture and it is difficult to say how they would do away from that football culture.

"You cannot say for example that Lampard in Serie A or La Liga would score 30 goals. In England he scores 25, 26, 27 goals every season. He is a midfielder who has an incredible performance level. Just as you cannot say that a Xavi or an Andres Iniesta or a David Silva would have the same quality of their play in England or Italy."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests