Leon joins Real Madrid as Mourinho moves in
The Mourinho Years began for Real Madrid on Thursday as Jose Mourinho met his players for the first time, with one new player arriving amid rumours of possible exits.
Madrid: The Mourinho Years began for Real Madrid on Thursday as Jose Mourinho met his players for the first time, with one new player arriving amid rumours of possible exits.
The Spanish giants announced the signing of winger Pedro Leon on a six-year deal from Getafe.
The player, who turns 24 in November, will undergo medical tests on Friday before being official unveiled at Real`s Santiago Bernabeu stadium at 12:30 pm (1030GMT), the club said in a statement posted on their website.
The club gave no financial details but public television TVE said the deal was worth 10 million euros.
Leon helped Getafe to their best-ever finish of sixth place in the Spanish league last season.
Thursday marked Portuguese coach Mourinho`s first encounter with his new charges, but with the bulk of the Real Madrid squad still on leave after the World Cup, he was greeted by just 10 players.
They underwent medical examinations before the proper start to training on Friday.
That did not stop the rumour mill, though, which is working overtime on suggestions striker Raul and midfielder Guti, both absent on Thursday, will be gone by the time Real begin their quest to unseat champions Barcelona in the Spanish league at the end of next month.
The 33-year-old Raul, who has played his entire professional career at Real, having made 550 appearances since his debut in 1994, has been linked with a move to German club Schalke and has also been associated with English clubs Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers.
The fact he spent time on holiday in New York this summer has also seen talk that he may be about to follow former France captain Thierry Henry to the New York Red Bulls.
Guti, another Real lifer having made his pro debut in 1995, is also reported to have had offers from Turkey and Greece as well as Blackburn and Zenit St Petersburg.
French midfielder Lassana Diarra is also likely, according to the Spanish media, to leave the club after meeting Mourinho on Wednesday to discuss his future.
Mourinho has arrived in a blaze of glory after leading Inter Milan last season to the treble of domestic league and cup in Italy as well as the Champions League.
He has been given a four-year contract and the brief of winning the Champions League within the next two years.
The former Porto and Chelsea boss wants to reinforce the defence and midfield of a Real side that already boasts a number of superstars, players of the calibre of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Gonzalo Higuain.
Argentinean international Angel Di Maria has already signed, as has the teenage former Santander starlet Sergio Canales.
Real are also trying to use their muscle to lure German midfielder Sami Khedira and Brazilian full-back Maicon but their clubs -- Stuttgart and Inter respectively -- are resisting the overtures.
Other names mentioned in dispatches are defenders Ashley Cole of Chelsea, Benfica`s David Luiz and Porto`s Bruno Alves, as well as Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Ten Real players, including Dutch midfielder Royston Drenthe, French striker Karim Benzema and Malian midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, underwent medical tests on Thursday at the club`s Bernabeu stadium to test their fitness levels after the summer break.
"Everyone is in perfect health," said Real doctor Luis Serratosa.
"Every player has returned eager to work. They spoke to the coach and I saw that they are all very motivated."