MADRID - Real Madrid would welcome former
striker Ruud van Nistelrooy back at the club, coach Jose
Mourinho said on Saturday.
The ex-Dutch international joined Hamburg SV last January
after netting 46 goals in 68 games over three-and-a-half seasons
with the Spanish giants but his contract in Germany runs out at
the end of this season.
Real say they are in the market for a striker in the January
transfer window as cover for Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain, who is
out for four months after back surgery.
"There are lots of names being mentioned," Mourinho told a
news conference at the club's Valdebebas training ground when
asked about former Manchester United marksman Van Nistelrooy,
"If in the end it's Ruud I'll be very happy," added the
ex-Chelsea coach. "We coincided in England and I know him well
as a player and person.
"It would be very good for us to have another attacker
because we don't have many and we have a lot of matches to
Van Nistelrooy said after scoring the winner in Hamburg's
1-0 victory at Schalke 04 on Saturday he would have to mull over
his next move.
"It's not easy for me as it's not just any club that is
coming calling," he was quoted as telling German media.
"Hopefully things will be sorted out soon. I can't leave the
lads in the lurch by having my head elsewhere. Real Madrid is
the only club that could change my mind."
Schalke coach Armin Veh told Sky Television no official
offer had yet been made for Van Nistelrooy.
A central figure in Real's title-winning seasons in 2007 and
2008 and popular with fans, the Dutch striker left following the
arrival of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Higuain's injury and Benzema's indifferent form prompted
Mourinho to ask the club for an extra striker as Real seek to
end Barcelona's two-year run as La Liga champions plus progress
past the Champions League first knockout round.
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