José Mourinho’s very public downfall might not have hurt his self-confidence, but it will have certainly thrown a chink in his reputation’s armour.
A familiar theme appeared towards the end of his time at Manchester United, with the Portuguese boss engaging in psychological warfare against his players that, ultimately, backfired massively and cost him his job.
Mourinho is a legendary manager that has won all there is to be won in club football, but there is an argument to suggest that, in this current climate, there is little room for him at the highest echelons.
Fans want to be entertained and view it as more important than winning – especially in England – and so his negative, pragmatic approach without any true identity has come under question that only Mourinho has the answer for.
With the former Chelsea boss claiming he has already rejected three offers from clubs on beIN Sports last week, here are three options that might appeal to Mourinho to reinstate his reputation as a world-class manager.
The obvious choice for Mourinho is a return to the Spanish capital with Real Madrid, where he won the club’s first La Liga title in four years, ending Barcelona’s run of title successes.
Florentino Pérez, the club’s President, has always admired the Portuguese manager and, given the current state of affairs Los Blancos are in, might be inclined to relieve Santiago Solari of his duties as interim manager and appoint Mourinho.
Los Blancos’ results have fluctuated in January, with an emphatic loss to Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabéu and a draw to Villarreal away from home.
They might have recently overcome Sevilla and Real Betis in La Liga, but their performances have been disappointing, with leaks spilling out from the Madrid camp suggesting the players are demotivated.
For any manager, it must be difficult to get the players operating at their full potential after coming off the back of winning the Champions League three times in a row.
Julian Lopetegui struggled enormously and Solari is not having the desired effect, leaving Spain’s media to indicate to a Mourinho who is out of work at the moment.
The Portuguese boss, whose agent has incredibly close ties with Pérez, has always left the door open for Madrid, should they return, and the President might well think a disciplinarian in Mourinho might be what it takes in order to get his club firing on all cylinders again.
At the San Siro, Mourinho’s name is still hung throughout the Curva Nord, as well as reverberated around the stadium, for the fans still have a deep admiration for the manager that delivered the treble back in 2010.
Italian fans do not forget the records Mourinho broke while with Inter, even if their rivalries are ferocious at the best of times.
While on beIN Sports last week, Mourinho said: “My arrival at Inter, for example, was perfect. I left Chelsea between November and December, in February I signed my contract with Inter and until June I studied everything.”
Depending on the next few months, Luciano Spalletti might find himself fighting to save his job.
Inter are currently in third position, but were knocked out of the Champions League and placed into the lesser Europa League knockout rounds.
The Nerazzurri have never been afraid to replace a manager and if they have a genuine chance of landing Mourinho, they might set the wheels in motion.
Inter have not been anywhere near a title challenge for a number of years and have been performing below par in Europe.
With Mourinho’s battle-hardened approach, along with heavy recruitment that their Chinese owners will back, the Portuguese manager might be able to awake the sleeping giant.
Mourinho would surely be welcomed back to Italy with open arms and is 7/2 (Paddy Power) to be Inter’s next permanent boss.
Perhaps an outside choice for both Mourinho and Bayern Munich, but it certainly cannot be ruled out given the constant speculation over Niko Kovač’s future at the helm.
Bayern are usually a club who promote from within and bargain hunt throughout Europe when recruiting players, but with an ageing squad that needs a mass overhaul, Mourinho might fancy his chances of swooning the German club’s bosses into hiring him.
Germany is not a country in which Mourinho has managed in, which would certainly appeal to him if he can add major honours to a list which has seen him be successful in England, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
The Portuguese boss would have to reign in his tantrums at Bayern, though, given how outspoken the President, Uli Hoeness, is.
Hertha close in on Europe, Nürnberg grabbing the anchor ⚓ pic.twitter.com/vgErBCCv0K— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) January 20, 2019
The current reigning champions in Germany have been playing second fiddle to Borussia Dortmund this season and currently find themselves six points from the top.
The Bavarians are unaccustomed to being in second place as well as struggling at times in the Champions League this season.
If Bayern’s President wants to see his club return to the top of European football, Mourinho might be a short-term option that sees that wish fulfilled.
Mourinho is an outside choice at 10/1 (Paddy Power) to become the next manager of Bayern Munich, who are slight underdogs in the Champions League betting when they meet Liverpool over two legs next month.
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