Where next for Jose Mourinho - Inter? Real Madrid? Portugal?by Chloe Beresford / 18 December 2018, 15:17Tweet
Perhaps it was the news that with a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, Manchester United had conceded more goals (29) in the opening 17 games of the season than they did the entirety of 2017/18 (28).
Or perhaps the Old Trafford board had simply had enough.
Whatever the reason behind the timing of Jose Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday morning, reporters went into a frenzy, listing all the potential candidates to replace the cantankerous Portuguese boss.
Once one of the most highly sought-after managers in Europe, the benefits of Mourinho’s winning record vastly outweighed his brusque manner and numerous altercations with anyone who dared disagree.
Yet – much like the final portion of Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal – the modern tactical game seems to have largely passed the former Real Madrid boss by, his reputation left in tatters following a disastrous final 12 months in Manchester.
Of course, there have been some extenuating circumstances as the problems at MUFC are not all down to Mourinho, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to salvage his tattered reputation.
The question is where next?
It all depends who is willing to run the risk that the abject negativity shown by the Portuguese boss was entirely down to the situation, and that a fresh challenge could once again bring out the best in him.
Real Madrid are listed as favourites at 4/1 to be the next to hire Mourinho, and reports in the Independent suggest that President Florentino Perez is keen to bring him back to the club.
That said, it would be a huge risk considering that the end of the tactician’s last spell at the Bernabeu saw him fall out with a number of players, with current squad members Sergio Ramos and Marcelo said to be part of that group.
Next in the betting odds is a move to a Chinese Super League side at 5/1, a place where Mourinho could escape the pressure of the European media and earn vast fortunes in the process. Considering he has just received £24 million in compensation from United, it appears unlikely that money would be his motivating factor though, and a move to the Far East just doesn’t seem like a Mourinho-esque thing to do.
A spell as his national team boss appears in the list at 6/1 and represents a sound bet with international football something that the 55-year-old has not yet turned his hand to. That said, current Coach Fernando Santos has a record of 38 wins in 61 matches played, a man hardly in danger of losing his job anytime soon.
Hi @ManUtd, we've received a CV from Mr J Mourinho.— Pizza Hut Restaurants (@pizzahutuk) December 18, 2018
He's just applied for a job as pizza chef.
Please can you send through a reference. Thanks.
If Juve manage to achieve their aim of winning the Champions League at the end of the season, current Juve boss Max Allegri could move on for a fresh challenge at a new club. Yet Mourinho is not the kind of man the hierarchy at the Turin-based club would likely turn to, their professional and well-polished reputation not allowing for a wrecking-ball manager to destroy all the hard work they have invested into their image in recent years.
On the surface may seem like a good bet at 8/1, but in reality it’s a waste of money.
Another team listed at 8/1 is Juve’s Milanese neighbours Inter, and here is a bet certainly worth placing. Here, Mourinho won the treble as recently as 2010, and supporters would relish a reunion with their former hero.
Furthermore Inter are a club attempting to re-establish themselves as a major player in Europe, and current boss Luciano Spalletti could be described as inconsistent and unconvincing at best.
With Mourinho back on board, the Nerazzurri hierarchy would be hoping they could turn back time to when he won FIFA Coach of the Year with them in order to put a smile back on their (and indeed his) face.