MADRID: Real Madrid opened the way for Jose Mourinho to take over as coach after they sacked Manuel Pellegrini on Wednesday.
Florentino Perez, president of the Spanish giants, said that a need for change had necessitated the dismissal of the Chilean and the courting of Mourinho from Inter Milan.
“We’ve decided to bring to an end Pellegrini’s time at the club,” Perez told a press conference. “The board also agreed to contract Mourinho as the new coach once his contractual relationship with Inter Milan has been resolved,” said Perez, elaborating on the €16 million mentioned in the get-out clause for the coach whose contract with Inter runs until June 2012.
Mourinho had long been in Real’s cross-hairs, none more so than after he guided Inter to a unique treble this season of the Champions League, Italian league and Italian Cup.
Pellegrini, 56, spent just one season with Real after arriving from Villarreal, ultimately paying the price for again finishing behind Barcelona in La Liga and their round-of-16 exit from the Champions League.
He still had one year on his contract to run.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.