Jose Mourinho has run out of patience with Fabio Coentrao. The absence of the full-back in the list for today's clash with Real Sociedad came as no surprise as the player has been reprimanded by the club for improper conduct. Nevertheless, on the coach's orders, he has been requested to train alone today at Valdebebas where he must continue his rehabilitation from a muscular injury. The defender is being closely monitored by his superiors. If he had followed his recovery programme over the Christmas period, he might have been available to play today. But his comportment this week has left a lot to be desired.
Coentrao has played just 42% of Madrid's games since he arrived at the club from Benfica in July 2011. Scant appearances for a player whose transfer cost the club 30 million euros . To date, the full-back has played 3,345 minutes out of a possible 7,650 - For Madrid that means 8,968 euros for each minute the Portuguese defender has played (not including the player's annual salary of two million euros). Both the coach and the club are considering offloading him during the current transfer window.
Coentrao arrived an hour late for Tuesday's training session in Valdebebas - the first session back after the Christmas holidays. Instead of planning his return to the capital early to avoid any travel delays, he decided to spend New Year's Eve in Lisbon, arriving in Madrid when the session was practically over and justifying his delay due to a traffic jam on the motorway.
This, for Mourinho, is an act of disloyalty and another in a series of personal decisions which have not gone down well with his bosses.
According to reports in England, Tottenham Hotspur president Daniel Levy is rumoured to be scouring the markets for a potential replacement for Gareth Bale. The Spurs president sees Coentrao as an option - despite his disciplinary record at Madrid. The defender still has admirers in the international market - after all, he was outstanding for Benfica and Portugal before Madrid signed him for 30 million euros. But Coentrao may not command such a fee in the current climate.