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What Next for Inter Milan Boss Jose Mourinho: Real Madrid, Manchester United or Liverpool?

by Luke Harrison

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COS contributor Luke Harrison looks at the what the future might hold for Jose Mourinho.

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FC Barcelona vs Inter Milan

Barcelona may have to face up to the possibilities of more heartache endured on them by Jose Mourinho, like that his Inter team delivered to them in the Champions League semi final visit to the Nou Camp. These possibilities increased if the self proclaimed ‘Special One’ takes over at Madrid this summer.
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Speculation has mounted rapidly this year that Mourinho is set to leave Inter this summer. He himself has made no secret of the fact he isn’t happy there. Speaking before Inter’s Champions League quarter final clash with CSKA Moscow he stated “I am very happy at Inter but not in Italian football,” when asked why he replied with “Because I don’t like it and it doesn’t like me, simple”.

He has been linked with a move back England with the likes of both Manchester United and Manchester City as well as Liverpool. Although it seems a question of when, not if, Mourinho will be back managing in England. This summer though may not be it.

Speaking as manager of Porto before his move to Chelsea in 2004 he claimed, “Liverpool are a team that interests everyone and Chelsea does not interest me so much because it is a new project with lots of money invested in it. I think it is a project which, if the club fail to win everything, then Abramovich could retire and take the money out of the club. It’s an uncertain project. It is interesting for a coach to have the money to hire quality players but you never know if a project like this will bring success.” Liverpool hired Benitez and the rest they say is history. The statement does suggest the ‘been there and done that’ scenario about going to Manchester City and rewriting the blue half of Manchester’s history may not be as appealing to him.

Despite Liverpool being put up for sale the American owners are still there, and while they are Mourinho has already voiced his concerns on that issue. Added to that and Liverpool need a new stadium and a a dozen new quality players to take the club forward, even if they do find a buyer, they will have to not only buy the club but invest in a new stadium and new players. Gillett and Hicks want £800 million for Liverpool. The City Of Manchester stadium cost £110 million, Liverpool may opt for a bigger stadium than that. But the cost of the two is over £900 million before you even consider players. Let alone the £8.3 million Mourinho is reported to be on at Inter. It just doesn’t look likely at this moment in time.

“I would consider going to Manchester United but United have to consider if they want me to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. If they do, then of course.” Comments Mourinho made on 28th July 2009 about taking over at Old Trafford. Although his ego would relish taking over from Ferguson, Sir Alex doesn’t appear to be retiring to his wine tasting hobby in the South of France just yet. He recently dismissed rumour he plans to retire at the end of next season, ‘I would step down if my health or hunger for the job ever deteriorated’. Mourinho is still a close friend of Sir Alex and told reporters recently ”I speak with him (Sir Alex) and don’t expect him to step down this season or even next season.”

Mourinho is very proud to have won back to back to titles in both Portugal and England and after Roma gave Inter the initiative in this years Serie A title race following their 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria, he looks set to do it again in Italy. If he can add the Coppa Italia to his collection of winner’s medal’s next month then he would have won the lot in Italy. Despite having a year left on his contract at Inter, by winning the lot it could give Mourinho a push to move on and if England isn’t his next destination then the venue for Inter’s Champions League Final could be more than just a venue in Mourinho’s eyes. The Bernabeu could be home to the next of his projects before he settles down for a more long term management rein in England.

Manuel Pellergini must be sweating to the point where he can’t wear the same shirt twice as Real Madrid edge closer towards a trophy less season having breaking the world transfer record twice and spending a fortune on players last summer. It’s neck and neck in Spain for the title but the odds on Pellergini staying in charge there next season are slim.

Going out to Lyon in the Champions League second round could well be the beginning of the end for him.

Los Blancos have been living in the shadows of the Catalans since 2008 and their failure in the Champions League over recent years has seen them get through three different coaches in the past five seasons. Even Capello was sacked just eleven days after winning La Liga in 2007.

Mourinho’s obsession in defeating Barcelona right back to his days as Chelsea manager is a delight to Real’s President Florentio Perez. The Spanish media has reported it would cost Real £6 million to take Mourinho from Inter. A drop in the ocean for the Spanish club.
El Mundo Deportivo says he has made contact with Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, about the Portuguese’s situation and his interest in moving to Madrid at the end of this season.

For his part, Mendes did not shut the door on any negotiations. Ronaldo has also spoke out in favour of Mourinho joining him at Real.
Despite in March telling friends Mourinho was not right for Real Madrid, the semi final victory over Barcelona has been the perfect audition to convince Perez otherwise. He is now prepared to break the bank to get his man. With Inter President Massimo Moratti, delighted with the success of reaching the Champions League final, the reported price of £6 million may have to be increased if they let him go but one thing is for sure, the job is more than big enough for the Portuguese ego.

It may be time for Mourinho to leave Inter this summer be may not be time for him to come to England. As Mourinho goes up against one of his former mentor’s in Louis Van Gaal in next month’s Champions League final, his Inter side may be favourites for the trophy but after it is lifted, Mourinho may be taking a closer look at the home dressing room in the Bernabeu as he plots the next chapter in his legacy before return ‘home’ to England.

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