By Martin del Palacio Langer
Jose Mourinho will not be the only significant departure from Real Madrid this summer.
When the outspoken coach finally leaves for Chelsea at the end of the season, he is likely to be followed out of the Santiago Bernabeu by five high-profile players, all of whom have close links to him personally or his agent Jorge Mendes.
Following his "maybe not" comment this week when asked about staying on for another season, it is now a given in Real Madrid circles that Mourinho will leave the club.
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.
|OUT WITH THE OLD
Players to leave Madrid
|ANGEL DI MARIA|
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 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 - 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 former Benfica man, for whom they would ask a fee in the vicinity of €20 million.
Next on in the list is Fabio Coentrao. Despite being one of the better performers for Madrid 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.
The problem is that no club will match the €30m that Madrid paid for him two years ago, so he could end up being sold for significantly less.
His compatriot Pepe is another facing the axe. Despite a string of injuries, he has been definitively overtaken by Raphael Varane in the race for the centre-back 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, 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 there are better available options in the transfer market and there is even a possibility he may return to England for a similar price to Pepe.
The last player on the unwanted list is Ricardo Carvalho. At 34, the former Portugal international is past his best and looks likely to be released for free at the end of the season.
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 made 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-represented 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.