La Liga - Benzema and Higuain to stay at Madrid

Fri, 03 Jun 10:19:00 2011

Jose Mourinho has declared Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain "non-transferable", while admitting that he is interested in Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero and signing Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent deal.

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In a wide-ranging interview with a Spanish radio station, Mourinho elaborated on Madrid's summer transfer plans and underlined that neither Benzema nor Higuain are viewed as dispensable at the Bernabeu.

France international Benzema has been praised by Arsene Wenger this summer, sparking speculation of a move to Arsenal, while Argentina striker Higuain is reportedly a target for Serie A side Juventus.

Mourinho told Cadena SER the two players were "non-transferable", adding: "It is not a case of me refusing to sell them. I don't make those decisions.

"If the club want to do something, I'm nobody. We all agree on Higuain and Benzema: we want to keep them."

Despite their determination to hold onto the two forwards, Madrid are still believed to be the leading candidates to sign Aguero, who announced he wants to leave Atleti via a statement on his official website.

Mourinho praised the Argentina international but said no contact had yet been made with Aguero.

"I will not be a hypocrite," Mourinho said. "Kun is a fantastic player - I won't be afraid to say it - but he's an Atletico player. Madrid will not contact players before making an agreement with their club."

On Adebayor, who joined Madrid on loan in January and scored eight goals in 22 appearances in all competitions, Mourinho appeared open to the possibility of signing him on a permanent basis from Manchester City.

"He is a City player and there is a clause to buy him,'' he said. ''We are in a good bargaining position and the player wants to stay here. That's important."

Madrid's summer plans are not restricted to their attack though, and the club are believed to be in negotiations to sign Benfica and Portugal left-back Fabio Coentrao.

The player has made little attempt to disguise his interest in a transfer to the Bernabeu and Mourinho appears similarly enthusiastic.

Mourinho said: "He's a great player. I like him for his versatility, his ability to play all over. Players of his type are always welcome, especially at a club as demanding as Madrid."

Eurosport

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