Where will we see Jose Mourinho next: Portugal, Celtic, Newcastle, or maybe the MLS?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 20 April 2021, 07:57

"No need for breaks and batteries - I'm always in football."

Hours after the news broke that he’d been sacked by Tottenham, Jose Mourinho returned to his house where he was greeted by swarms of the media who asked him whether he’d now look to rest-up and recharge the batteries following the conclusion of his 17-month tenure.

Mourinho, who whipped out his own camera and filmed the surrounding masses from his point-of-view, managed to put on a reasonably positive display despite the crushing disappointment of losing his job just days before he had the chance to win silverware in his beloved League Cup.

Yet, Mourinho will no doubt be wounded inside after he left a club trophyless for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Critics will argue that his managerial star, which shone in such a ubiquitous fashion 10 years ago, is rapidly fading. They’ll highlight his failure to properly tune into the modern player, ridicule his reactive tactics that no longer produce the desired effect, and then claim that he’ll never feast at the top table again.

But, while the elite jobs may - possibly - elude him for the time being, it would be foolish to think that this is the last we’ve seen of the 58-year-old in management.

Mourinho’s CV, his prior success, and celebrity status means that, love it or hate it, he will still represent an attractive option to many clubs, both in Europe and furtherafield, while a venture into international football will always be an option.

With that said, below we take a look at where the Portuguese manager could appear next, according to the latest odds by Paddy Power - click here for the full market.

Portugal (11/2)

"Yes, I want to coach a national team, I want to have the experience of a World Cup and European Championship, the emotion of the short competition," Mourinho said during his time at Tottenham.

Managing his homeland, Portugal, would surely be his number one choice should he now target the international dugout, although he may have to bide his time with this one considering the success of incumbent Fernando Santos.

Santos, whose contract expires in 2024, has the most victories of any Portugal national team coach. He won the Euros in 2016, then the Nations League in 2019. He’s currently bidding to lead his galaxy of stars to European glory once again this summer, while the 2022 World Cup is also on the horizon.

Given the above, Mourinho is unlikely to become Portugal manager anytime soon, but you’d think that one day it could happen. Alternatively, he’s 14/1 to replace Gareth Southgate at the helm of England - a job he’s been linked to in the past - 25/1 to become the next Republic of Ireland boss, and 40/1 to manage Portugal's rivals Spain.


Where next for Jose Mourinho?

Juventus (6/1) or Inter Milan (16/1)

A return to Italy?

They say never go back, but Mourinho did have a second spell at Chelsea, where he bagged his third Premier League title. 

In England, he’ll always be synonymous with Chelsea, yet it was his time in Italy which has so far proved to be arguably the greatest managerial spell of his career. 

Mourinho’s man-management skills and tactical masterstrokes combined in glorious fashion, as Inter Milan made history when they became the first Italian side to win the treble: Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League. 

He’s now 16/1 to return to the soon-to-be-crowned Italian champions. Antonio Conte is currently the manager bringing the glory days back to the Nerazzurri, and while the Italian is likely to stay for at least another season, Mourinho could be in contention for a sensational return should a vacancy ever open up.

Alternatively, with reports rife that rookie Andrea Pirlo could be set to be replaced after one season at Juventus, could the Old Lady turn to Mourinho (6/1)? 

However, while Mourinho excelled in Italy, he has since revealed that the experience was an intense one, while two years ago - when he was out-of-work - he told Italian TV show Tiki Taka: "I haven't worked for seven, eight months so we'll see what happens. But I don't think I'll come back to work in Italy. It's a sensation, but I don't think my future will be in Italy."

It will be interesting to see if his viewpoint is different this time around.


Potential next options for Mourinho

Porto (8/1)

What about another one of his former clubs: Porto?

It was an iconic tenure which elevated Mourinho into the wider footballing spotlight. He famously won the UEFA Cup, Champions League, and a couple of league titles and domestic cups before getting his prized move to England.

Mourinho was reportedly offered the chance to return to Porto for the remainder of the 2015/16 season, a move which Man Utd blocked because they had lined him up to replace Louis van Gaal in the summer.

Porto are now managed by Sergio Conceicao, who has led the club to two league titles, and recently toppled Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus en route to the Champions League quarter-finals, where their journey ended.

It’s worth noting though that Conceicao’s contract expires at the end of the season, he’s yet to renew, and was recently linked with a move to Fiorentina. So, watch this space.

Mourinho has previously spoken about his quest to return to another former Portuguese club: Vitoria Setubal.


Could Mourinho join Phil Neville in the MLS?

MLS (10/1)

The new MLS season exploded into action last weekend. The league’s exposure and popularity continues to grow, from a manager perspective it’s home to the likes of Gabriel Heinze, Phil Neville, Bruce Arena, and Jaap Stam, while until recently Thierry Henry was plying his trade there too.

Mourinho would elevate the league’s status to another level entirely. A complete change of scenery in a new culture could do him the world of good after three mixed and intense spells in the Premier League, yet we can’t see this one happening. Just yet.

Celtic (12/1)

100/1 a few days ago, Mourinho is now priced at just 12/1 to remain in the UK but this time travel north of the border to Celtic

Eddie Howe remains the favourite for the job, Roy Keane is still being linked, while Enzo Maresca has been in contention. Yet the club, who have been without a permanent manager since February, appear no closer to finding Neil Lennon’s successor.

If it’s a project Mou’s after, this could be the job for him.

Newcastle (25/1)

A Premier League return anytime soon appears unlikely, although there could be a few intriguing openings this summer.

Crystal Palace could part ways with Roy Hodgson, while Mourinho’s fellow Portuguese coach Nuno Santo is an 8/1 shot to replace him at Tottenham, with Mourinho 33/1 for Wolves.

However, it’s Newcastle which represent an interesting option for Mourinho at 25/1. This could only really be possible if a takeover occurs - and that’s a topic for another day - but should cash-happy new owners arrive on the scene and want to make an immediate statement then Mourinho could well be their man...

Other options

In the immediate future, we are likely to see Mourinho return to the TV studios, most likely for this summer’s European championship.

In terms of another job in football, he’s priced at 16/1 to join any Chinese Super League club, 25/1 to take charge of Bayern Munich following Hansi Flick’s announcement that he’ll leave, while he’s out at 66/1 to appear in the dugout of Tottenham’s rivals Arsenal...

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