Perez rules out Messi, Rooney
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said that he has no desire to sign "the second best player in the world", which in his opinion is Barcelona's Lionel Messi, or Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney this summer.
Perez returned to the Bernabeu for a second spell last summer but Madrid ended the season empty-handed, despite an outlay of €250 million euros. Having signed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka prior to the 2009/10 campaign, Madrid have been linked with a host of top names again this year.
Perez famously signed Barcelona's Luis Figo in 2000 in a highly controversial move in his first stint as president, but insists there will be no repeat this time around with Messi. "Messi is the second best player in the world, after Cristiano, and it wouldn't be good to have them in the same team," he said. "This way, there is more competition," he added, implying that Madrid would be by far the greater force with both players in his side.
New coach Jose Mourinho has apparently identified four new players in order to build a team to challenge both domestically and in Europe, but Perez claims only two or three players will arrive this summer. "We already have the stars in our current squad, so we'll sign two or three great players to complement them," he said.
And Inter Milan full-back Maicon, who has already expressed his desire to link up again with Mourinho in Madrid, could be one of them. "There is no rush, but Maicon is one of the great players in the world in his position," Perez said.
Perez has ruled out a summer swoop for Rooney, however. "In Rooney's position we already have very good players," he said. Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribery is another who will not be arriving in the Spanish capital. "Ribery is impossible because he just renewed his contract with Bayern," he said.
Madrid finished second in La Liga to Barça, while early eliminations to Second Division B side Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey and Lyon in the UEFA Champions League made it an unhappy return for the 63-year-old. Perez acted quickly in light of those disappointments, sacking coach Manuel Pellegrini and bringing in Mourinho on the back of his unprecedented Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble with Inter.
And it seems Mourinho, unlike Pellegrini, will be given time to get things right at the Bernabeu. "We have contracted Mourinho for four years," Perez told Antena 3. "We had the opportunity to sign someone I believe is the best coach in the world and we didn't want to let that opportunity pass by."
Perez later told Cadena Copa that he expects the often defensive-minded Mourinho to bring both success and attractive football to Madrid. "He knows he is coming to a club where, as well as winning, the fans call for entertainment," he said. But he added: "I have no doubts about the football he will bring. I remember that his Porto and Chelsea sides played good football."
Perez wanted to bring in Arsenal's Arsene Wenger as coach last summer before settling for Pellegrini from Villarreal. "It was impossible," he said. "So we went for a coach with the same characteristics, and that was Manuel Pellegrini."
However, the Chilean was on borrowed time as soon as Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon. "That was the day I decided we needed a new impulse," Perez said. "We needed a strong coach with a winning record - Mourinho is like a new force of nature.
"The history of Real Madrid isn't about keeping our coaches - it's about winning. But we would like to have a coach here for many years and that's why we have given Mourinho a four-year contract."