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Football: Mourinho admits departure comments

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho on Friday admitted that reported comments claiming his future lay away from the Spanish club were accurate but denied that he was "sad or unhappy" at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Earlier this week, press in Spain widely reported comments by Manuel Alvarez, the president of CD Canillas, a club from the north of Madrid where Mourinho's son is a player.

Alvarez claimed that during a chat with Canillas coaching staff on Monday, Mourinho announced he would not be in Madrid next year to take part in the annual meeting.

At his Friday press briefing ahead of Real Madrid's Liga clash with Betis on Saturday, Mourinho verified the comments -- but encouraged reporters not to read too much into them.

"I can confirm that, when I was asked if I would be here next season, I said, 'I don't think so.' I said that I didn't think I could be there for next year's meeting," said the Portuguese.

"I am neither unhappy nor sad at Real.

"I have already said that my relationships with the president (Florentino Perez), with Jose Angel Sanchez (the sporting director), with the club, were good," he continued.

"Normally, when you get to these situations, there are problems between the club and the coach but here that is not the case because we get on.

"The best thing for us right now is to beat Betis, get to the Champions League final and win the Copa del Rey final, and then after that we can discuss what is best for everyone."

Madrid face Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final next week and will face city rivals Atletico in the Copa del Rey final next month.

Throughout the course of his third season at the club, Mourinho has continually insisted that his future would not be decided until the close season.

The former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach is under contract until 2016.

However, last week, Spanish daily El Pais claimed that Chelsea had made an offer to Mourinho in March in a bid to tempt him back for next season.

The paper added that Mourinho had not yet signed anything because of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's refusal to hand him full responsibility for player recruitment.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese confirmed that goalkeeper Iker Casillas would again be on the bench against Betis as Diego Lopez continues between the posts.

"Tomorrow (Saturday), Casillas will be on the bench, but he is in perfect condition to play, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him back playing again one day," he said.

Casillas has not played since February 23, becoming second fiddle to Lopez, who was brought back to the Bernabeu for a second spell when the Spain captain suffered a fracture to his left thumb.

In addition, Sami Khedira and Sergio Ramos will not play against seventh-placed Betis in order to keep them fresh for the trip to Dortmund.

"(Alvaro) Arbeloa is injured and suspended in the Champions League so we only have Ramos as a right-back, meaning we can't take any risks," Mourinho said to explain the former Sevilla defender's absence this weekend.

With Michael Essien also missing due to injury, the right-back berth against Betis will either be filled by Frenchman Raphael Varane or youth product Nacho.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130419/football-mourinho-admits-departure-comments