Just after leaving Chelsea last week, Jose mourinho has been linked with a host of top jobs, with sources claiming that Man United are also interested in him. Here we look at who is the best fit for him.
Louis van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford is less than secure, with sources telling ESPN FC that Mourinho has been in contact with United
over a possible vacancy in the near future. And if some reports are to
be believed then Van Gaal has just a few games to save his job after
failing to instil his possession-based philosophy at the club, boring
the fans to tears in the process.
Mourinho could have replaced Sir Alex Ferguson following the Scot’s
retirement back in 2013 but he opted to return to Chelsea instead as
United appointed David Moyes. However, Mourinho has always considered
United a “big club” and a position that he would be interested in taking at some point in his career. Now seems to be that time, as United look to fix two poor appointments since Fergie’s departure.
The one caveat would be the situation surrounding Ryan Giggs. United
view him as a future manager, but would he be happy to remain as
assistant under Mourinho once Van Gaal has been let go? United fans want
to “attack, attack, attack” and Jose can certainly do that, but he
usually prefers to park a bus or two and focus on defence first. For
that reason, he may not be the long-term solution, though could perform
an important role in stabilising the floundering club, which is without a
win in the past six matches.
Chances: Mourinho’s first choice, but United may try and rival
Manchester City for Pep Guardiola first if they choose to sack Van Gaal.
With reports suggesting that Rafael Benitez’s future is under
consideration at Madrid, a return to the Bernabeu could be a possibility
for Mourinho during the winter break. Fans have been unhappy with
recent Madrid performances and bizarrely jeered their own team in the
10-2 destruction of nine-man Rayo Vallecano at the weekend.
While the players must shoulder responsibility for their failure to
take command of La Liga this season (they sit third, two points behind
leaders Barcelona having played a game more), Benitez’s tactics and
working relationship with his Galacticos is under the spotlight.
Mourinho would welcome a return to one of the biggest clubs in world
football, but will be wary of the task that awaits him. Having fallen
out with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos during his last season at
the club, a recent Marca poll revealed that 52 percent of fans don’t want to see the Portuguese return.
Having experienced first-hand what effect a poisonous dressing room
can have on a club, Mourinho may think twice about what Madrid has to
offer him. At this stage of his career, he may not want to try another
comeback following his ill-fated second spell at Chelsea and if there is
to be a change at the Bernabeu then it’s likely to mean club legend
Zinedine Zidane given a chance to shine.
Chances: Real Madrid need to change the atmosphere at the club and
Mourinho’s return would not help that. He would be foolish to go back.
A new challenge in France would virtually guarantee Mourinho another
title on different soil, something he is keen to achieve having already
won in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. PSG would offer him the cash
to buy pretty much whoever he wants, while also allowing him to work
with high quality players like Angel Di Maria, Edison Cavani and Thiago
Silva. A reunion with David Luiz (who he sold to PSG from Chelsea for
£50 million in 2014) would be headline-grabbing, but the French club
seem to be the best fit for Mourinho’s style of play.
Success in the Champions League is key for a club trying to establish
themselves as major players in Europe and although coach Laurent Blanc
has brought great success to the French capital, including the last
three league titles, if they fail to reach the final this season, there
may be an opening this summer.
Chances: PSG won’t sack Blanc immediately to get Mourinho but a summer move could be in offing.
A return to Italy would be an interesting decision, having found
great success with Inter Milan as he led them to the Treble in 2010.
Serie A’s title race this season is one of the most interesting in
recent years, but Mourinho might see Roma as a step down — they haven’t
won the league since 2001 — and is perhaps not yet willing to do so at
this stage of his career.
Currently in fifth place (four points off leaders Inter), Roma have
struggled this season and crashed out of the Coppa Italia to Serie B
side Spezia last week. As a result, the future of coach Rudi Garcia is
up for discussion — indeed, reports suggested that Mourinho had dinner with Roma owner James Palotta recently — but his strong bond with Inter suggests that he would reject any chance to return to Italy.
Chances: Unlikely. It’s a step down in quality and a club which he does not hold in as high regard as Inter.
“I would love to be the national team coach one day. I think the Portuguese people are waiting for that to happen,” Mourinho said back in 2013.
It is clear that the Portugal job is one on his list. However, it may
be too early for him. Having almost taken the England job in 2007-08
before Fabio Capello was appointed, Mourinho has a desire to coach a
national team, but has said he would never take it if it was a part-time role while juggling a club commitment.
Right now, the Portuguese has his eyes fixed on more success in
domestic football and Portugal are not looking to make a change before
Euro 2016. Yet current coach Fernando Santos will be under pressure to
qualify from a group containing Austria, Hungary and Iceland, and
anything less than a semifinal appearance could see a change made in the
summer. Mourinho could be the man to get them over the final hurdle
required to finally win a major trophy, but it probably won’t be for a
Chances: In the future? Very high, but not right now. Don’t be
surprised if Mourinho is in charge for the 2018 World Cup, though.