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Manager Mourinho's work is done' predicts teenage football star

PUBLISHED: 13:31 27 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A RISING football star hand-picked by Jose Mourinho has said it may be time for his mentor to move on after leading his club to the triple crown in Italy. Ben Greenhalgh, 17, of Tubbenden Lane, Orpington, (pictured) was speaking to the Times from Italy a

A RISING football star hand-picked by Jose Mourinho has said it may be time for his mentor to move on after leading his club to the triple crown in Italy.

Ben Greenhalgh, 17, of Tubbenden Lane, Orpington, (pictured) was speaking to the Times from Italy after his club, Inter Milan, won the Champions League trophy, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in Madrid on Saturday.

Former Darrick Wood pupil Mr Greenhalgh, who used to play in midfield for Welling United, was given a six-month professional contract with Inter Milan after winning the Sky 1 programme Football's Next Star in February.

Mr Greenhalgh said: "Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in our game, I speak to him once a week and he always says hello.

"It would be a shame to see him go because he took part in bringing me to Inter Milan but now he has won the treble his work here is done.

"Real Madrid need his help because they are not performing to their ability. They need a top class manager, and he is the man for the job."

Inter Milan, which became the first Italian club to win the triple crown of the home league, national cup and European cup when they beat their German rivals at the Bernabeu Stadium last weekend. In an encouraging omen, Mr Greenhalgh, who plays for Inter's development squad the Primavera, was part of the Under 18 side that beat Bayern Munich's team two days before the first team clash.

He said: "I think it would have scared Bayern a lot to know that the second team had already beaten them.

"But we didn't get to watch the first team game as we had to fly straight back to Italy and to training for a tournament, which was a bit disappointing."

Greenhalgh, who has one more tournament before his contract expires, says that he has had a successful season playing for the Italian development squad, known as the Primavera.

He is hopeful that his contract will be renewed by the club in the next few weeks, but says he would like to return to English football at some point.

The teenager said: "I find out in three weeks if they renew my contract, and if they offer me a place I'll come back.

"I would like to come back to England at some point in the next year or so.

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