The worst kept secret in football is out after reports in Spain say that Jose Mourinho has started to tell people that he is leaving.
One of the unlikely sources for the story is Manuel Álvarez, who runs the Canillas team in the Spanish capital where Mourinho’s son plays.
“Mourinho told us that next year he would not come and give a talk to our coaches because he would not be here” Álvarez told Spanish radio station, La COPE.
Was he being serious or joking? I couldn’t really tell. If Mou goes it will be a great loss to Spanish football. I hope that Florentino (Perez, the Real Madrid president) can sort it out.’
Alvarez added: ‘Even if he is not here we would be delighted for him to come back and give another talk. The one he gave was sensational – it was like the coaches being given a Masters intensive in coaching. As far as we are concerned he is the No 1.’
The story follows revelations in the Spanish press that various members of Mourinho’s domestic staff had been told that they will not be needed beyond this May.
The discussion between Mourinho and Álvarez was brought up on Intereconomía’s sports show, ‘Punto Pelota’ last night. Other sources claim that during the chat, Mou produced a photograph of Chelsea celebrating a trophy win aboard an open-top bus and said,
“I’ll be up on that bus next season”.
That will be welcome news to Chelsea fans who have been signing Jose Mourinho’s name for months now. Even Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson commented last month that Chelsea will be a bigger challenger for the Premier League title next season when Mourinho returns.
The only stumbling block I can see that could deter Mourinho from returning to Stamford Bridge is control over football operations. Mourinho likes to be in control of everything. He doesn’t like Directors of Football over him, and he wants to make all the decisions about who to buy and sell. That is not how Roman Abramovich operates, so will he be willing to cede control to get the Special One back?