Mourinho one-up on Villas-Boas after Coentrao makes switch

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Andres Villas-Boas has lost his first battle as Chelsea manager with Jose Mourinho after Fabio Coentrao completed a switch to Real Madrid today.

The Benfica full-back was one of the targets Villas-Boas wanted to bring with him from the Portuguese league but the 23-year-old opted against a move to London in favour of a switch the Spanish capital.

Coentrao has passed a medical with the Spanish giants today and confirmation of the Portuguese full-back becoming a Real Madrid player is expected either later today or early tomorrow morning.

Coentrao becomes the fourth signing of the summer for Jose Mourinho following the arrivals of Nuri Sahin, Hamit Altintop and Jose Callejon, and Ezequiel Garay will leave Real for Benfica as part of the deal.

The deal is believed to be worth around €30m to Benfica with Garay’s addition to the deal, taking Madrid’s total spend for the summer to around €55m but Mourinho hasn’t stopped there with the confirmation Raphael Varane has also moved to the Spanish capital for a reported €10m.

The Lens centre-back becomes Mourinho’s second defensive signing of the summer and arguably their most important following a La Liga season in which Real conceded 12 more goals than Barcelona.

Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho will remain the first choice centre-backs at Real Madrid unless Villas-Boas can tempt Pepe to Stamford Bridge, but Varane has a huge supporting role to play.

With a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, Mourinho’s signings of Sahin and Callejon (Altintop was a free) are bewildering and the Coentrao signing is even more baffling considering Marcelo’s form last season.

It’s right that the best teams want to strengthen their squads and Mourinho is doing that, but €55m may have been better used on Fabregas and despite spending vast amounts of money, Real Madrid remain the 13/8 second favourites to win La Liga next season.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.