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Is Adebayor enough to placate Mourinho?
The Portuguese, who turned 48 on Wednesday, has been pressing for a centre-forward since the start of the season when Real set out with Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema as their two recognized frontmen.
A long-term injury to Higuain and Benzema´s failure to impress saw Mourinho up the ante and the club compromised by going for a loan signing.
It is an unusual move for Real Madrid and perhaps reflects some of the tensions at play between Mourinho and president Florentino Perez´s trusted number two, director general Jorge Valdano.
It was never going to be an easy relationship between Argentine Valdano, the immaculately turned out gentleman intellectual, and the more combative Portuguese, with tie at half-mast and a cheeky glint in his eye.
Valdano opened Mourinho´s presentation back in May with an apology for a scathing article he had written in the past about the way the new coach´s teams had played, saying they had put it behind them, but the pressure of chasing down a sparkling Barcelona side has taken its toll.
Mourinho has complained about a lack of support from the club on a number of issues and consistently sniped about his side´s ´limitations´ – this is in a team which has had over 300 million euros spent on it over the last two years.
Valdano has denied any rifts in the face of media speculation but then when asked about the need for a centre-forward after their 1-1 draw at Almeria, when Mourinho used Benzema as a substitute, he quipped that the team had one but that he was on the bench.
After Sunday´s tight 1-0 home win over Real Mallorca, Mourinho responded to a question about possible signings saying : “I don´t speak to Valdano, I speak directly to the president.”
Adebayor has five months to prove his worth and will be judged as a success surely only if Real win a trophy, something they have not done since 2008.
The same can be said of Mourinho. When questioned about his four-year contract after Real beat Atletico to reach the Cup semi-finals last week he said: “(At the end of the season) If everyone is happy the coach continues. If not, he doesn´t.”
Adebayor may help keep Mourinho quiet, but whether it is enough to make him happy is something else.
PHOTO: Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor (L) jumps over Lech Poznan’s Bartosz Bosacki during their Europa League Group A soccer match in Poznan November 4, 2010. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel.