Mourinho a step closer to Chelsea as Real Madrid exit is confirmed

Jose Mourinho moves a step closer to becoming the next Chelsea manager after it is confirmed he will leave Real Madrid this summer

jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho led Real Madrid to the La Liga title last term Photo: Steindy/Wikimedia

Jose Mourinho moved a step closer to becoming the next Chelsea manager on Monday after it was confirmed that the Portuguese coach will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season by mutual consent.

Madrid president Florentino Perez confirmed that the 50-year-old will be stepping down after three seasons in Spain at a news conference at the Bernabeu.

Mourinho’s final game in charge of Los Blancos will be the La Liga clash at home to Osasuna on 1 June.

“Following conversations with our manager Jose Mourinho, we’ve decided to bring our relationship to an end at the end of the season,” said Perez.

“The club and manager agree that the timing is right.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Jose Mourinho for all of his hard work during the last three years. The team have improved and we wish him all the best.”

The announcement comes after Mourinho’s Real Madrid were beaten by local rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on Friday night.

Perez added: “Nobody has been sacked. It’s a mutual agreement. We’ve come to this decision today, although it’s been something that has been in the back our our minds for a while now.”

Mourinho is the overwhelming favourite to take over from Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benítez this summer and return to the club he led to six trophies between 2004 and 2007.

The Portuguese coach has made no secret of his desire to one day return to coach in the Premier League after leaving the Blues in 2007 and subsequently taking charge of Inter Milan and then Real Madrid.

Last week, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard described Mourinho as the best coach he has ever worked under.

“It is not confirmed yet but the idea of working with him is brilliant,” Lampard said. “His talent and ability as a manager for me is the best – certainly the best I’ve worked with.”

Perez, who also confirmed he would be running for re-election as Madrid president, insisted that the La Liga club do not have any agreements in place over a potential replacement for Mourinho.

“We haven’t come to any agreement and we don’t have any pre-contract signed with any managerial candidate,” he said.

Jose Mourinho fact-file

• A former teacher, Mourinho had spells working at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona as a coaching assistant in the 1990s.

• As coach, he had a brief nine-game stay at Benfica and a highly successful tenure at Leiria before really making his mark after arriving at Porto in January 2002. In his first full season, 2002-03, Porto won the Uefa Cup and a domestic double. The next year they retained their league title and claimed the Champions League.

• Mourinho joined Chelsea in 2004 and led the club to the League Cup and their first league championship for 50 years in his first season. Followed up with the league title again in 2006, and both the League Cup and FA Cup in 2007.

• He left Chelsea in September 2007 and stayed out of football until joining Inter in June 2008. In his first campaign the Nerazzurri retained their Serie A crown, a feat they repeated in 2009-10 when they also added the Coppa Italia and the Champions League title, their first European Cup win since 1965.

• Victory at the Bernabeu was Mourinho’s last act as Inter coach before joining Madrid on a four-year deal. His first season featured the club’s first Copa del Rey victory in 18 years and a Champions League semi-final appearance, his second the Liga title and an end to Barcelona’s three successive championship triumphs.

• In the 2012-13 season, Mourinho’s Madrid failed to win any major silverware and were beaten by local rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

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