Trio of England stars in Mourinho's sights

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has expressed his admiration for the England duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as he formulates his plans to take over as Real Madrid coach.

The Portuguese, who is set to be appointed in the coming days after Manuel Pellegrini was sacked from the post on Wednesday, also outlined his preference for full-backs in the mould of Ashley Cole and Maicon.

While Mourinho is yet officially to leave Internazionale, he has already spoken freely about his plans at big-spending Madrid. Those plans could involve raids on his former clubs, Chelsea and Inter, after he spoke glowingly about Blues duo Lampard, 31, and Cole, 29, as well as Maicon – the 28-year-old Brazilian who helped Mourinho lead Inter to a trophy treble this season.

"I like players in the final part of their careers," Mourinho told Spanish sports daily, AS. "I love to have some players who are 33 or 34 years old... they are players that you buy and you won't recover this money, but if they give you good performances for two or three years you've got your money's worth. Both [Gerrard and Lampard] are great players who always give everything."

Mourinho added: "I like to play with four at the back, although my teams are always ready to play with only three – a system I have used to win many games over the years. But normally we will play with four, but with two offensive full-backs in the style of Maicon and Ashley Cole."

Mourinho, however, stopped short of promising Real's fans a La Liga title next season, although he did seek to quash concerns he will employ a more defensive style. "I want to win the league, because no player or coach has won the English, Italian and Spanish leagues and I would like to be the first to do it, and also to be the first coach to lift three Champions Leagues with different teams," he said.

"I would also like to discover a player from the youth team and make him into a star. I have a lot of motivations. I don't want to lose humility, so I cannot come out and say that I'm going to win the league when you are up against a super team like Barça."