Mourinho: Ruud would be welcome

Published Jan. 15, 2011 11:03 p.m. ET

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho would welcome the return of reported transfer target Ruud van Nistelrooy to the Bernabeu.

The Spanish giants have been linked with a host of forwards following general director Jorge Valdano's confirmation this week that Madrid are looking to bring in a striker to replace the injured Gonzalo Higuain.

Among those names is Van Nistelrooy, who helped Madrid win back-to-back Primera Division titles in 2007 and 2008 during a successful spell in the Spanish capital before moving to Hamburg 12 months ago.

When asked about the prospect of the 34-year-old former Manchester United hitman coming back to Madrid, Mourinho said on Saturday: "Many names are being talked about and they could all be a help for us.

"If in the end it is Ruud then I would be very happy. We know each other from English football, in my first seasons (at Chelsea), I know the player and the person well. I would be delighted if it is him."

Mourinho added of the prolific forward, who this evening scored Hamburg's winner against Schalke in the Bundesliga: "At the moment he is a Hamburg player and we need to respect that situation.

"I don't want to talk of Van Nistelrooy. For you (the media) it's easy. I have to respect Hamburg."


Valdano announced Madrid were in the market for a centre-forward following Real's 3-1 Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg win over Atletico on Thursday - two days after Higuain underwent a back operation that is set to sideline him for up to four months.

Without Higuain, who was Madrid's leading scorer in La Liga in the last two seasons, Madrid are left with just Karim Benzema as their only senior centre-forward.

Mourinho said: "It would be very good for us to have another striker because we don't have so many and we have a lot of games.

"I was very happy when the club opened the possibility of signing a player. The club is working hard to see if it's possible. The market is open until the 31st."