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Mourinho, Wenger linked with Real Madrid job

SERIE A champion Inter Milan is confident of hanging on to Jose Mourinho after media reported that Real Madrid wants to lure the Portuguese coach away, club president Massimo Moratti said.

Spanish media said Real presidential candidate Florentino Perez had targeted Mourinho, who clinched the Serie A title last weekend in his maiden season in Italy.

Perez will bid to regain the presidency of the nine-time European champion next month.

"The news from Spain reached us immediately but our coach has assured me that he does not want to leave Milan," Moratti told the La Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday.

"I want to believe in our coach's word. In the past he has proved his seriousness, he has already shown that he never betrays his word. He is too serious a professional to do something of the sort."

Former Chelsea and Porto boss Mourinho, whose contract with Inter runs until 2011, has previously said that it is 100 percent certain that he will stay at the club next season.

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is another manager who has been linked to the Spanish giant. But the English club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis categorically stated yesterday that the Frenchman was "staying."

Gazidis said Wenger has the club's "unequivocal support" and is expected to see his contract through for the two remaining seasons.

"He is clearly staying," Gazidis said. "We've said that, he said that. He has the full support, unequivocal support of our board."

Gazidis added he would like to see the Frenchman stay after his contract expires in 2011.

"It does not surprise me that clubs like Real Madrid would be interested," he said, adding that Arsenal did not offer any extra incentives for Wenger to remain.

Gazidis spoke as Arsenal defender Gael Clichy unveiled a new soccer school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in partnership with club sponsor Emirates airline.

British media have reported that Wenger, who has been at Arsenal for 12 years, is considering leaving for Real after some fans criticized him at a meeting last week and because of a limited transfer budget.

Wenger sparked the speculation over the weekend by saying coaching Real Madrid would be "obviously interesting."

Perez reportedly tried to sign Wenger during his first stint and has been linked again with the Arsenal manager.

Some Arsenal fans have become increasingly frustrated after a fourth consecutive season without a trophy and Wenger's reliance on young players.

Arsenal will finish in fourth place in the Premier League with the last match of the season to be played on Sunday. That means the Gunners will have to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.


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