No one believes that Jose Mourinho has completed his role in life as a manager of a big football club. One more run is more likely than not. But where?
Mourinho won’t go to any club. He needs a club that matches his lofty aspirations, as well as willing to spend, at least in the beginning. So considering several factors of teams that would actually want him and teams he’d want to work at, here are 5 teams that are the most likely potential destinations:
We’ll start (and finish later on) with a club Mourinho coached at before. Things are always fickle for the man on the sidelines at the Santiago Bernabeu. Zinedine Zidane may be a 3-time Champions League winner as the club’s head coach, but his return to the role after the disappointing tenure of Julen Lupetegui followed by Santiago Solari has been less than triumphant. Real Madrid are 2nd in La Liga but the form and ability aren’t winning Zidane any new supporters. If this turns out to be another season of falling at some point behind Barcelona and struggling to recapture the UCL magic of 2016-2018, Perez might actually do what some thought he’d do last season – fire the head coach and bring in Mourinho for a 2.0 experience.
At first glance, Mourinho and Arsenal are complete opposites. But if Unai Emery’s lads continue to underperform in the Premier League, this time without any of the footballing chic most Arsene Wenger years had attached to them, it may be an opportunity for the ownership to make a change of direction. The Gunners might not be perceived as big spenders, but they did put in big money this offseason for Nicolas Pepe and other players who have mostly failed to make an impact. We’ve heard a lot from former Arsenal players and rivals about how the Wenger (and now Emery) years were characterized by an emphasis on style instead of results. Perhaps more disappointments will finally end that phase in the history of Arsenal, turning to the man perceived as the king of pragmatism.
It’s a weird season in the Bundesliga thus far. No one really breaking away, Bayern already dropping 9 points without it causing a ruckus. There seems to be patience with Niko Kovac, perhaps because of how last season unfolded. But the defensive injuries sustained in the last week could be an issue as we travel further into the season. It may take a lot of unlikely things happening, but who knows – if things turn badly for Bayern and Kovac from here, I believe this is one of Mourinho’s dream jobs – a big club with big aspirations and a willingness to spend.
If Bayern is one of Mourinho’s dream jobs, this is his actual dream job. A club that’s easy to win a championship with and has almost limitless resources. The problem? It’s hard to see Thomas Tuchel getting the boot from the bosses until the end of the season, unless there’s a super early exit in the Champions League, like a Round of 16 exit.
Of all the clubs Mourinho has worked at since leaving Porto, the Nerrazurri is a) the only other team he’s led to Champions League glory and b) is probably the only club with supporters who are actually looking forward to getting Mourinho back. The problem? Inter are doing really well under Antonio Conte, likely to give Juventus a run for their money, at least for a while.
World football loves throwing curveballs at us, so never be surprised, not even if Mourinho suddenly announces that he’s leaving the comfy job he currently he has to take on the managerial role at Nantes. But frankly, if his next job is not with one of the 5 clubs mentioned above, it will be a shock.