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With rumors continuing to link Sahin away from Real Madrid, manager Jose Mourinho says the Turkish midfielder is free to leave.

CARSON, Calif. -- Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin will not face opposition from manager Jose Mourinho if he chooses to leave Los Blancos before the season, Mourinho said Thursday after the club’s 5-1 victory over LA Galaxy.

The 23-year-old Turkish international has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Galatasaray in the offseason. Sahin garnered little playing time in his first season at Real Madrid last year after transferring from Borussia Dortmund before the 2011 season for 10 million euros.

The Portugese manager acknowledged Sahin was frustrated with a lack of playing time.

“The point is, he’s a young boy, he wants to play every match. He wants to be happy to play, he wants to play to be happy,” Mourinho said. “And in Real Madrid with Xabi Alonso, with [Sami] Khedira, with Lassana [Diarra], [Esteban] Granero, [Mesut] Ozil, the situation is not easy.”

Mourinho said the size of a club such as Madrid makes it challenging for young players to break through, especially when they do not perform well at the beginning, which he hinted was the case with Sahin.

“Real Madrid is very difficult. It is not an easy club, because we demand a lot. We have great players, and when you don’t start well, it is difficult to do it.”

Mourinho concluded by saying that the decision of whether Sahin stays or goes lies with the player, and that he would have no problem coaching him if he stayed.

“If he stays, he’s not a problem for me, he’s one more solution,” Mourinho said, before advising the young Turk to consider his heart and his happiness. “We leave [the situation] in his hands. Be happy. Decide what you want to decide, to be happy. If you decide to leave we are going to help you to leave. If you decide to stay, we are going to support you and try to succeed this season.”

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