Is Mourinho looking for another crack at the Premier League?
Jose Mourinho is rumoured to be on the brink of a return to the Premier League after the Real Madrid boss was spotted in London
Jose Mourinho sparked rumours of a return to the Premier League by hopping on a flight to London and going house hunting on Tuesday.
The Real Madrid manager already has one apartment in the English capital after he parted company with Chelsea in 2007.
But the Spanish media is convinced the 49-year-old is ready to make a return to Britain – and he wants a residence big enough for the whole family.
Mourinho’s time at the Bernabeu has been fraught with battles between the club’s hierarchy, his players, the supporters, and of course Barcelona.
He appeared to be winning the war against his employers for the first time since swapping Internazionale for the Spanish capital after Madrid’s president Florentino Perez deposed of Jorge Valdano, the long-running technical director at the club, and Mourinho’s detractor, in 2011.
On the field, Real have surged clear of Barcelona in the Spanish title race, and last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano ensured his side remained 10 points clear of their Catalan rivals.
But rumours of training ground bust-ups and audible dissent from Madrid supporters have left question marks lingering over Mourinho’s future at the club.
And his trip to London has inevitably set the tongues wagging.
His former coach and current Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is struggling, as most men at the helm have since his departure, to fill the void left by the Special One at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are trailing league leaders Manchester City by 17 points and are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League after a 3-1 defeat by Napoli in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Mourinho’s potential return to west London would certainly be welcomed by the club’s supporters – the Portuguese boss remains a legend despite the limp end to his reign.
But he would face a vastly different, and undoubtedly more testing, challenge to the one he confronted when he took over in 2004.
The quality and quantity of opposition has improved – City’s spending power will ensure they remain a force, Manchester United are already building for a bright future, and Tottenham Hotspur have become one of the best attacking sides in the league, while Arsenal and Liverpool remain a threat.
Another problem is Chelsea’s squad. Frank Lampard and John Terry were hitting their prime when Mourinho swapped Porto for Chelsea eight years ago. It would be a rebuilding process but that takes time, and crucially, patience.
Others are touting Mourinho as the replacement for the popular choice to be England’s next manager, Harry Redknapp, at White Hart Lane.
Spurs have a side brimming with talent and an amibitious chairman Daniel Levy, who shows no hesitation when it comes to backing his manager financially.
Their plans for a new stadium also offers the opportunity for Mourinho to be part of a special era at the north London club, and ultimately leave another legacy in the capital.
Overtly, at international level, Mourinho’s name has also been bandied about as an ideal candidate to become as Fabio Capello’s successor – but this option seems unlikely as he has previously stated his desire to manage just one country: Portugal.
Whether the rumour mill is to be believed or not, the Special One’s ongoing struggles in the Spanish capital suggest a Premier League return is more likely than ever.