Jose Mourinho to return to English football?

Jose Mourinho has issued a less than subtle ‘come and get me’ plea after admitting that he is unhappy in Italian football and misses the English game, but where is the self proclaimed ‘Special One’ likely to end up?

The former Chelsea boss will have put several clubs on red alert and will make a fair few managers sweat on their jobs as it looks increasingly likely that he will not remain in Serie A beyond this summer. Mourinho sparked the speculation after sensationally admitting that although he was happy at Inter he did not like the Italian football and media saying: “I don’t like it and it doesn’t like me.” Some may argue that the timing of such a statement is odd and could have a negative effect, as Inter Milan were preparing for their Champions League quarter-final first leg against CSKA Moscow. However, Mourinho is insistent that as an honest person he should always speak his mind, but not too much as he believes he may be punished for criticising the Italian top flight. He said: “I always speak with my heart but if I spoke with my heart now about Serie A I would be suspended.” It would not be the first time Mourinho had a falling out with the Italian Football Federation as he was hit with a £35,000 fine a month ago for criticising the league’s officials and has not spoken to the Italian press ever since.

Perhaps in the wake of his victorious return to Stamford Bridge, where Mourinho knocked his former club, he was reminded of what he had been missing in recent years. When he returned to England he was back in his element dealing with the English media, who he had enjoyed an interesting relationship with during his successful time in west London. Despite winning the Scudetto in his first season in Milan he has not taken well with the Italian media and fans like he did in England and feels under-appreciated. The Portuguese coach revealed that he has been missing the English game as well as the fans and media but says his focus is firmly on his Inter Milan side now. He said, in his typical frank manner: “I miss English football and English football misses me, there is no doubt about that, but right now I’m thinking only about Inter.” Should Mourinho make a return to the Premier League where would be his likely destination? Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all clubs that the former Porto boss has been linked with in the past. Current Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is unlikely to be sacked after just one season in charge, so a sensational Stamford Bridge return is off the cards for Mourinho and although Rafa Benitez is struggling at Liverpool it is wide consensus that the Afield owners are part of the problem and it is doubtful Mourinho would work for them.

The Special One has long been seen as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. If the Inter boss is already sick of Italian football and likely to leave sooner rather than later, it is too soon for the Old Trafford post as Sir Alex remains firmly entrenched at the club. It is no guarantee that he would even get the job at Old Trafford when Sir Alex eventually decides to retire. Both Martin O’Neill and David Moyes have both been mooted as more natural successors to the Scot as there is question marks over whether the Red Devil’s faithful will take to Mourinho’s defensive style. Manchester City is the final and most likely Premier League destination for Jose Mourinho as it stands. The Citizens’ current boss Roberto Mancini, who Mourinho had originally replaced at Inter, is only on a temporary contract and his future is unconfirmed. It is no secret that the Eastlands outfit are keen to follow the blueprint set out by Chelsea as their new found wealth has increased their expectations and who better to oversee it than the ‘Special One’, who won back-to-back Premier League titles in his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge. The money on offer is enough to influence anyone’s head and it is certain that their will be an attractive transfer war chest for any potential boss to dip into. Then again, taking the City job would end any hopes for Mourinho to manage at Old Trafford and as it stands the blue half of Manchester does not have Champions League football yet.

Far away from Manchester, Liverpool or even London lies the place where the bookmakers believe Mourinho will make his name. Right now a rather beleaguered Manuel Pellegrini will be looking over his shoulder after his Real Madrid side have already been knocked out of the Champions League and are second favourites for the La Liga title despite spending astronomical sums of money on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema.

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