By Martin del Palacio Langer
Jose Mourinho will not be the only significant departure from Real Madrid this summer, Goal.com can reveal.
When the outspoken coach finally leaves for Chelsea in the summer, he is likely to be followed by out of the Santiago Bernabeu by five high-profile players, all of whom have close links to him personally or his agent Jorge Mendes.
|OUT WITH THE OLD
Players to leave Madrid
|ANGEL DI MARIA|
His relationship with heavyweights in the dressing room has deteriorated to the extent that they would be unlikely to be able to work together for another season in any case.
As a result, Mourinho is expected to announce his departure in the next few weeks and Madrid are already looking for another coach, with Carlo Ancelotti the leading candidate.
And, Mourinho will be not be alone in relocating. Goal.com has learned that a quintet of players, closely linked to him and also represented by Mendes, will be put on the market with the idea of recouping some of the money spent on them.
The most prominent of the group is Angel Di Maria. The Argentina international has been the epitome of inconsistency - fantastic one game and dismal the next two - during his time in the Spanish capital.
The Madrid board believes that a better player could be found in the transfer market and that they could be able to garner some major interest from English and Italian clubs for the Benfica man, for whom they would ask a fee in the vicinity of €20 million (£16.9m).
Next on in the list is Fabio Coentrao. Despite being one of the better performers for the club in the latter part of the season, the Portugual international is seen as being too close to Mourinho and the board doesn't believe that a new coach would feel comfortable with him in the squad.
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His compatriot Pepe is another facing the axe. Despite injuries, he has been definitively overtaken by Raphael Varane in the race for the central defender position alongside Sergio Ramos. His propensity to lose his temper is a concern and his salary is too high for a substitute.
The club would hope to sell him for around €10m (£8.4m), although a suitable bidder would not be easy to find.
Another starting player on his way out is Alvaro Arbeloa. He is not represented by Mendes but is one of Mourinho’s closest allies in the dressing room.
There is a widespread consensus that his position could be vastly improved and that the Spanish international is in his last few months with the club. He could be go back to England for a similar amount to the price tag placed on Pepe.
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All this potential movement does have one major caveat in that the moves will have to be sanctioned by the new coach, be it Ancelotti or another candidate.
His opinion will be considered, although the final word on transfers will be given by Florentino Perez.
It is understood the club president feels that Mourinho has yielded too much power internally and doesn't want to repeat the mistake with his new staff.
The move away from Mendes players is most certainly on the cards, but the exception is star man Cristiano Ronaldo - also represented by the super agent - whom the club want to keep.