Fabio Coentrao's days at Real Madrid could be numbered. Mourinho's patience appears to have run out as his compatriot arrived to training one hour late, again. The training session was coming to a close when he arrived, with some of his team-mates even heading for the showers. Coentrao, who decided to risk spending New Year's Eve in Portugal, argued that there had been a traffic accident causing heavy delays and tailbacks.
At the limit: Mourinho 'lost his rag' with the player and began disciplinary action, asking for the maximum fine possible to make an example of the left-back to the rest of the squad. But Mou's anger doesn't stop there. According to AS, if the club receives a decent offer for the player it will be seriously considered; if it were down to Mourinho, Coentrao would be shown the door straight away. Real Madrid still insist that the issue with Coentrao is discipline: "Hence the reason he comes back from international duty with Portugal for a month as one of the best left-backs at the World Cup or the Euros. When he gets back here his mind is elsewhere..."
Mourinho is well aware that Coentrao is putting him in a difficult position, and more so since he has occupied the position of general manager. The Portuguese trainer pushed the club to spend Benfica's 30 million-euro asking price, despite already having Marcelo on the books - Mou's belief was that Coentrao's diversity and intensity on the pitch would justify the investment.
Protection: Mourinho stood by his choice until the bitter end after giving him opportunities last season in big games in the Champions League and against Barcelona, but Coentrao has been unable to repay his coach's vote of confidence.
The first incident happened on 16 November 2011 when he arrived an hour late to training. Coentrao then arrived back after the Christmas break clearly out of shape and was punished by Mou as he was left out of the squad for the game against Valencia. On 11 March the same happened again; whilst out celebrating his 24th birthday he was caught smoking. He was fined by Mou and once again left out, this time for the game against Villareal.
This season he was seen as a bad influence on Cristiano in the USA by his team-mates, which occurred before the number 7 claimed he was "sad". Next, against Getafe, Coentrao called referee Pérez Lasa a "motherfucker" and was handed a four-game ban. Tuesday was the tip of the iceberg and was one step too far for Mourinho. A hefty fine and the Barnabéu door awaits, in January or June...