There has been no end to the rumours linking Jose Mourinho to a return to Chelsea and it’s almost as if someone poured petrol over the flames when he was pictured in London over the weekend, about the same time the likes of Chris Cohen (@Chris_Cohen) claimed that the Portuguese manager was due to speak to Roman Abramovich on the Saturday of last weekend.
In reality Mourinho is in London on a free weekend and has accepted an invitation from the Brazilian FA to attend tonight’s game between Brazil and Russia, his first visit since knocking Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea out of the Champions League in 2011.
Speculation will once again be rife as the former Blues boss has never hid his affection for the West London club and recently told the press that he may go back to “somewhere I’ve already been” but this could of course could mean a country he’s already managed in etc.
Many Chelsea fans are desperate to see the return of the Special One, who won six trophies during his last stint at Stamford Bridge, but I am doubtful that Abramovich would have spoken to him about a return this weekend in London of all places, it’s not exactly something that would impress Real Madrid who’d want him to concentrate on his job in the Spanish capital as they hope to go all the way in the Champions League.
That’s not to say that Mourinho hasn’t or won’t have been approached for the job, it would just be a lot more subtle than conducting such business on your own doorstep in front of what is the most intrusive press in the world, you wouldn’t sh*t where you eat to put it bluntly.
In my opinion there’s only three clubs that could realistically be the next stop for Mourinho and only one of them presents a new challenge, but that all depends on how successful Carlo Ancelotti is at Paris St Germain and whether or not Real Madrid want to recruit him. It’s likely that Mourinho will return to Chelsea but there’s also a fair chance that he may be tempted to go back to Inter Milan where he seemed to be the most comfortable with a club’s hierarchy.
I’m discounting Manchester City, of course, due to the presence of former Barca chiefs Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain who looked over Jose for the Barcelona job in the past and I doubt that impressed him very much. It may also be difficult for Mourinho to eventually succeed Alex Ferguson as they may opt for someone less controversial like David Moyes or Pep Guardiola if he continues his success at Bayern Munich in the next few seasons.
One thing is for sure, if he was to return to Stamford Bridge then he wouldn’t be able to play things exactly as he did the first time as we cannot splash the cash as much under new financial rules and his previous jobs have been built around a three-year cycle. He’d also have to be much more expansive than he was the first time as shackling players like Juan Mata and Eden Hazard would be a shame. I’m not saying he cannot build something long term or develop youth, he’s an intelligent and ambitious man, and perhaps he’s a little more humbled after the experience he’s picked up since departing London. He knows more than anyone that things would have to be different if he was to be a long-term option.