Madrid - Real Madrid are close to signing Steven Gerrard and Maicon, according to Spanish media reports on Wednesday.
Sports daily Marca had a picture of Liverpool captain Gerrard on its front page on Wednesday, with the headline "Warm, Warm."
Marca said that Real president Florentino Perez "has already chosen" Gerrard to be the "star of his second super production," meaning his second season in charge since returning to the club presidency exactly a year ago.
Marca, which is notoriously close to Perez, added as an afterthought that the signing of Gerrard "has the approval of Jose Mourinho," Real's new coach.
The Portuguese coach was quoted as saying about Gerrard, who turned 30 on Sunday, that "I like players at the end of their careers."
According to the Spanish media, one of the conditions that Mourinho had for accepting the Real job was that he would basically be in charge of deciding who to buy and sell.
Perez spent a staggering 260 million euros (317.92 million dollars) on eight players, without consulting with coach Manuel Pellegrini, a year ago.
Pellegrini was sacked last week after a trophy-less season, in order to make room for Mourinho.
According to media reports, Perez is prepared to splash out up to 200 million euros this season, which would again make the whites the biggest spenders in world football.
Meanwhile, AS, the rival sports daily to Marca, said that Real are very close to signing Brazilian right-back Maicon from European champions Inter Milan, following a request from Mourinho.
According to AS, Mourinho is also interested in Daniele De Rossi of Roma, Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov and Angel Di Maria of Benfica.Author: Duncan Shaw