Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo returning to England, the transfer take place at the end of the season. /Chelsea Transfer News.
According to sources close to the self-anointed Special One, Real Madrid Manager Jose Mourinho is once again the chosen one. He is the man Roman Abramovich wants to succeed interim manager Rafa Benitez and a deal, say those sources, is as good as done.
This is not something anyone can confirm. Not when Jose Mourinho remains the manager of Real Madrid, and the Spaniards remain in the hunt for the Champions League championship this season. But Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to return to England and the pouting Portuguese coach rarely speaks without an agenda.
‘I cannot deny what is clear in my mind,’ Mourinho said recently. ‘After Real Madrid, England, that’s for sure. I keep saying the same, I know clearly.’
He said he could manage ‘everyone’. That he is ‘a professional’ who would have to consider offers from other English clubs should they come.
Manchester City have been linked with a move for Mourinho, while Sir Alex Ferguson has made no secret of his admiration for his close friend.
When Ferguson does eventually retire, Mourinho would certainly be among the leading candidates to replace him, but a move to Manchester now looks extremely unlikely.
The only area in which Roman Abramovich has shown any consistency since taking over at Chelsea is in his ability to surprise.
Initially, the billionaire owner did want someone else this summer. But when Pep Guardiola resisted Abramovich’s advances and opted to take charge at Bayern Munich for next season , the Russian oligarch was forced to think again.
Mourinho, he now realises, is his best option. A manager who is as close as it gets to someone who can guarantee success. He is a serial winner, having lifted the league title in all four countries he has worked — Portugal, England, Italy and Spain — and led Porto and Inter Milan to the Champions League crown.
Chelsea Boss Roman Abramovich knows Mourinho is capable of rebuilding a squad boasting some tremendous talent in players such as Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, but which still requires an overhaul.
And the Portuguese has dropped the biggest hint yet he’s keen on a return to Stamford Bridge when his time at the Bernabeu comes to an end.
“I have an adventurous spirit and do not know what will happen next season,” Mourinho said. “It’s not easy to choose a new destination after working in England, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
“Maybe I could return to somewhere I’ve already been. Watch out for surprises.”
Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will not be staying beyond the end of this season, with Mourinho and a number of other high-profile managers continuously linked with the role.
The 50-year-old could yet remain in Madrid, particularly if he guides the Spanish giants to an unprecedented 10th European Cup crown.
The old guard, players who served Mourinho with such distinction when they won back-to-back Premier League titles, needs replacing, even if there would probably be a renewed desire to see Frank Lampard extend his stay at the club. But what of the problems of the past? What of the clash of egos — namely between Abramovich and Mourinho — that led to their split in 2007?
According to those same sources, Abramovich and Mourinho have settled their differences. Chelsea’s owner speaks fondly of his former manager in the company of friends and associates and stories of gifts that the Russian has sent to Mourinho are presented as further evidence.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co are among the favourites for the title after knocking out Manchester United to reach the quarter-finals, where they’ll face Galatasaray.
Mourinho was spotted house-hunting in London last week and he has already stated his his intention to return to the Premier League.