This has been a really tough preseason for Nuri Sahin. The Turkish player has received offers from many European teams like Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Galatasaray or Besiktas, but Real Madrid only wants to let him go on a loan. Every one of these teams are trying to keep a buyout clause after the loan ends, and that's why Sahin is still in the United States with the rest of the squad.
But, this could also be part of José Mourinho's strategy to improve Sahin's mental strength. Some Spanish journalists from El Confidencial reported earlier this year that the Turkish player was still afraid to practice at his best due to his previous knee injury. No player can perform well at Real Madrid with fear, so Mourinho might be trying to put some pressure on the young midfielder by making things tough for him and playing him as a left back, while flirting with other teams.
Mourinho does like Sahin, sources say, and that's why Real Madrid has not accepted any offers so far. Manchester United wants to buy him and the rest of the offers include clauses. But the Portuguese coach could be losing his patience with his soft attitude during training sessions and the matches.
But of course, this is all mere speculation and reports about Real Madrid trying to get him out on a loan as soon as possible could also be true.
Mourinho is a very especial psychologist in the football world. He proved this when he called Benzema a "cat" in comparison to Higuaín, who in his own words, was a "hound". Some thought he wasn't happy with the French striker, but Benzema then started to improve and became one of the best strikers in the world.
If this is Mourinho's strategy, Sahin isn't responding badly at the moment. He played fairly well against Santos Laguna in the left back position, showing commitment and also the willingness to prove himself as a valid Real Madrid player. At the moment, he is only playing there to give Coentrao rest during a preseason, but his chance at the midfield could come soon with Álex out and Granero not training with the team these past few days.
It will be hard for him to show Mourinho he is ready, but he might have a chance to play in the midfield sooner rather than later. Sahin will need to show the toughness Mourinho needs from a midfielder in what could be his only chance. After that, who knows whether Mourinho could change his mind and save him a valuable spot on the roster.