Mourinho realistic about striking options
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho concedes the chances of a new striker being brought in during the January transfer window are remote.
With Gonzalo Higuain needing surgery on a back problem and likely to be sidelined for a significant period, Madrid have been left with Karim Benzema as their only senior centre-forward, although Cristiano Ronaldo has been employed up front as well.
A number of forwards have been linked with the Spanish giants but, having splashed out well over €300 million on new talent since Florentino Perez returned to the presidency in 2009, it looks as though the purse strings have been drawn shut at the Bernabeu.
When asked if he still had hope Madrid would sign a centre forward this month, Mourinho said: "Not much. I spoke with the president a couple of days ago and nothing.
"My relationship with him is very good and I hope that it will be like that until the end, or even better. It's always been like that with my presidents. But at this moment, after the investments that the club have made in the last two years, the club aren't keen on signing another striker.
"Also, because this is Madrid, you cannot just sign any player and to me it doesn't seem a very easy situation. I have to try and get the best of the players that I have, who are numerous and very good.
"I only have one centre-forward, who is Benzema, but we need to face up to the situation in front of us. I suppose that until the end of January we will continue talking about this because the window is open until the end of the month, but I think that this is the group of players that I will have until the end of the season."
Regarding Higuain, who has been absent since November with a herniated disc, Mourinho admits he is not expecting to have the 23-year-old back in the next couple of months.
Mourinho also urged the other players to make sure there is still something to play for by the time the Argentina international can return. "I wouldn't like to continue reading that in two months he will be training and playing," Mourinho said of Higuain, Madrid`s leading scorer in the last two league campaigns.
"We need to leave him in peace to recover. He is going to be suffering, because if he doesn`t play he suffers, as happened with Kaka. I only hope that the team can give him hope of still being useful this season, at the end of May. To do this we must have decisive games to play, like the Champions League or Copa del Rey, this would be his hope and his motivation.
"I know that he won't be able to play in March and I'm calm about it. Now he will be in the best hands possible, and in these hands and with his desire he will recover."