The Wanted One: More than one club desperate for Jose Mourinho
Background photo: Валерий Дед, CC-BY-SA 3.0
When he first arrived England in 2004, Jose Mourinho anointed himself “the Special One”. Time has mercilessly beaten and reduced that nickname to a rusty old signpost. Tongue-tied and shoved forcefully into the job market by Manchester United in December, the Portuguese tactician must relish his new pseudonym: “The Wanted One!”
Mourinho doesn't want to be called that for long, however. He’s made it pretty clear he wants to change his employment status come June.
Mou is cleverly observing how clubs in Europe’s big five leagues are faring. He’s pencilled down some he can’t touch. Like a divorcée seeking a perfect husband, Mourinho learns from experience. The 56-year-old gaffer wants to work for the ‘perfect’ club.
Those who follow the controversial coach hear him repeatedly sing praises for the support Liverpool and Manchester City give their managers. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have his jealousy. Now, he’ll only sign for a club who promises heaven and earth in terms of structure, not just money.
The question is which club will offer Mourinho what he wants?
Being the biggest unemployed manager on the market assures offers won't run dry. Jose says he’s rejected three since leaving Old Trafford.
Here are four teams hot on the heels of the well-versed tactician:
The Giallorossi exited the Champions League following a lacklustre defeat to Porto. The Italian outfit immediately severed ties with lauded boss Eusebio di Francesco.
Claudio Ranieri was drafted in to steady the ship on an interim basis but I Lupi's stuttering form can’t seem to end before the season does. Decision-makers in Rome have hinted that the Tinkerman will most likely be overlooked for the permanent job.
Rumours emanating from the Italian media say Mourinho has been offered a three-year contract.
Without question, Mourinho knows how to manage in Italy. He’s won titles there. Other questions deserve answers though. Does Mourinho want to manage this Roma side? A report says he’ll only take the job if Roma qualifies for the Champions League. At the moment, that's a 50/50 proposition.
Maybe you didn’t but many Inter fans cried when Mourinho left them for Madrid. He brought happy days for the Nerazzurri. Since Mourinho’s departure, Inter has been a reed shaken by the wind. No titles or major European achievements to show, barring Rafa Benitez's Club World Cup.
Now owned by Suning Holding Group, a Chinese company with interests in football, it is believed Chairman Zhang Jindong and his group are poised to return Inter to their glory days. Their interest in Mourinho should be taken seriously. They have the resources and can offer Mourinho the structure he craves. Plus they’re in pole position to qualify for the Champions League from Serie A.
Maybe Mourinho’s arrival will help them keep Mauro Icardi. Or not. There isn't room for two egos in a Mourinho clubhouse.
In terms of financial power, no team on this list can compete with PSG. Les Parisians dressing room would tempt any manager.
Mourinho claims he’s no longer moved by grandeur. But can he say no if Nasser Al-Khelaifi puts a call across? From what is known, Mourinho is stubborn to the bone and will insist he gets his way. Or it’s the highway.
PSG must be prepared for all the baggage that accompanies this high-profile tactician. From the look of things, Mourinho is the man they need if they’re to stop being the money-bag Champions League laughing stock.
What’s Celtic doing on this list? Fair question. The truth is, the Hoops are more desperate for the former Chelsea boss than any club mentioned. The entire Scottish Premier League should press for this deal. Mourinho would certainly set the Scottish stage alight.
The Bhoys are two SPL titles away from a historic decade on top. Steven Gerrard and Rangers won’t stand for that. Mourinho can keep the Liverpool legend at bay.
Once again it’s down to the man’s ego. Will he take a job away from Europe’s top leagues? Especially one that was abandoned by a former protégé? If he does, the challenge will be to end his career at Celtic in the manner he began it at Porto. By stunning the world.
One way or the other, Jose Mourinho will be managing a big club in 2019/20. Save some room on your hard drive for more memorable outbursts.