Where next for Jose Mourinho?

Let’s be honest, we’ve missed the former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. Chelsea fan or not, his flamboyance, press conferences and self confidence left a mark on the Premier League. Yet with word coming out of current club Inter Milan that this could be his last season in charge of the runaway Serie A leaders. Mourinho is reportedly unhappy with the lack of respect he receives by the media in Italy and misses the pace and fans of the Premier League. So upon a likely return for the ‘Special One’ to England, where would his most likely destination be? He has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. So let’s look at the options available to the talented manager.

Liverpool.

After yesterday’s dire 0-0 draw with Manchester City, Liverpool are just a point behind Tottenham Hotspur for the coveted 4th spot. Yet with a group stage Champions League exit, an early FA cup exit and no title challenge, Rafa Benitez’s position appears to be under serious threat. Rumours of Italian giants Juventus lining up an escape route for the much maligned Liverpool manager could see the end of his Anfield reign this summer. A move for Jose Mourinho would seem likely by the American owners.

Liverpool and Mourinho is marriage made in heaven, a club steeped in history, passion and success needs a strong and unifying figure. Mourinho is definitely that man. He will revel in the role of ‘rebel’ against the powerhouses of Manchester United, Chelsea and the rising prominence of Manchester City. Whilst Mourinho would most certainly do a good job at Liverpool, he may not wish to join a club whose ownership is under scrutiny with limited funds available. Mourinho would need guarantees of sizeable investment to mould his own side. At Liverpool he may not get this wish. One thing is for sure, Mourinho would reunite a supposed fractured dressing room at Anfield.

Manchester United

Whilst seemingly unlikely that Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Champions League glory along with a fourth successful title defence may persuade him to retire on a high. Jose Mourinho would be installed as one of the favourites to take over the reins at Manchester United, if not this summer, maybe in 2011. Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United, his 24 years in charge of United has been the most successful in the clubs history and has created much aura around the man and club. Whilst the Manchester United top job will be highly sought after upon its vacancy, I would not envy anyone who takes it. To follow the great Ferguson is going to hold more pressure than any other job in football. The first loss under new management at Manchester United will have all the national tabloids tripping over each other to suggest United are struggling.

Who better to deal with the pressure than Jose Mourinho, nothing fazes the man, and he will protect the players and put himself in the firing line. Furthermore Mourinho is the only man with the personality and strength of character to take over such a massive club steeped in history. What remains to be seen is whether the Glazers would be willing to offer Mourinho the job, his outspoken nature is not exactly an owners dream, but neither is Ferguson in all honesty. We all know how outspoken he is. Mourinho’s potential move to Manchester United all relies on one man. Sir Alex Ferguson. Not only when he decides to retire, but he will be heavily consulted as to choose his successor.

Manchester City

Jose Mourinho may be turned to by Manchester City to evolve them from 4th challengers to title winners and European glory. With Roberto Mancini not exactly setting Eastland’s alight and his initial contract only till the end of the season with the option to extend if all parties are happy, Mourinho could be persuaded to join the Citizens. Mourinho has been here before with Chelsea back in 2004, a club who had big ambitions and a huge pot of cash. With the funds that would be made available to the ‘Special One’ he could bring success to Manchester City much akin to that his time at Stamford Bridge.

Yet there would be some stumbling blocks, particularly for Mourinho, complete control over his team and transfer policy would be paramount to the Portuguese manager. He will not have any interference whatsoever in his selections or purchases. Rumours coming out of Manchester City that Roberto Mancini had never seen Adam Johnson play and was shown video of him whilst negotiations between City and Middlesbrough took place would repulse Mourinho. He could never work under such circumstances. Additionally the threat of trigger happy owners willing to fire Mourinho on a couple of bad results may not warm him entirely to the prospect or challenge. The feeling I get with Mourinho is he wants to join a club steeped in European history, he feels he has done his time making Chelsea the club they are today and will only accept an offer from an esteemed club with Champion League credentials. Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, etc. Whilst Manchester City may join those clubs in the next few years, they have a long way to go yet. That might just put Mourinho off.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that Jose Mourinho wants a return to England, if not next season, most certainly the season after. He most definitely sees himself as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor in waiting, but that’s the character of the man. Yet I think with the right persuasion Jose Mourinho would love to take Liverpool on. But would the Kop want him?

Who do you think Mourinho will manage next? Are you a Liverpool fan who would like to see the ‘Special One’ take over the reins next season? Or would you still like Benitez in charge?

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