Mourinho free to join Chelsea after Madrid exit

Jose Mourinho has moved a step closer to a reunion with Chelsea after it was confirmed the Portuguese was free to leave Real Madrid, the Guardian has reported.

The move means Chelsea will not have to pay compensation to prise Mourinho from the Santiago Bernabeu, a possible saving of almost £17m according to the newspaper. Instead, Madrid president Florentino Perez confirmed in a press conference on Monday evening that Mourinho was to leave the club by mutual consent, paving the way for a return to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho spent just over three years in charge at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, twice winning the Premier League title. But despite his past success at the club owner Roman Abramovich reportedly told Mourinho he would not pay the compensation figure, having previously paid more than £13m to sign Andre Villas-Boas from Porto, only to sack him less than a year later. Mourinho was also reluctant to fork out for the cost of breaking his Madrid contract.

The Guardian adds that Mourinho reached a deal in principle with Chelsea earlier this year and has been preparing for a return to the Blues since – including lining up potential signings. His position at Madrid has become untenable following a series of clashes with senior or influential figures, while Madrid’s defeat in the Copa del Rey final to city rivals Atletico meant the club ends the season without a trophy.

Perez and Mourinho are said to have met on Monday when it was agreed to end Mourinho’s time at Madrid two years before his contract was due to expire. Madrid have already contacted Paris Saint-Germain about the availability of former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, only to be denied permission to speak with the Italian, despite the ex-Milan boss revealing he wants to move to the Bernabeu.

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