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Mourinho could be looking for a new job

Several Premier League clubs would have taken a close interest in news coming out of Spain. Reports suggest that Jose Mourinho plans to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. Mourinho has not confirmed the stories, but he hasn’t denied them either. "I will not say a word and the president won't either," is all he would say. "I am not going to contribute to this."

The Spanish football paper Marca usually has an inside track on affairs at the Bernabeu and its front page reported that a divorce was imminent between the manager and the Madrid president Florentino Perez. The Spanish media is not keen on Mourinho; in stark contrast to a UK press that adores him. "Attacking me has become the national sport," Mourinho said after reading the latest reports.

He has made no secret of his enthusiasm for the Premier League, and there are several intriguing options should he choose to return. The most interesting would be Chelsea, the club he delivered out of the wilderness to take the title. Results suggest Rafael Benitez is a strictly short-term option at Stamford Bridge, and the owner Roman Abramovich’s preferred choice, Pep Guardiola, might be unwilling to work for the capricious Russian.

At Manchester City, Roberto Mancini’s job already looks insecure just seven months after he delivered the Premier League title. The volatile Italian is as likely to quit in frustration as he is to be sacked, but, either way, there could certainly be a vacancy by the summer.

Mourinho’s preference might be for an even more demanding job. Sir Alex Ferguson now has a statue outside Old Trafford but seems to retain all his energy for the Manchester United manager’s job. If he has an obvious successor though it would be the Special One, one of the few figures in world football with the authority and charisma to step into Fergie’s shoes. Perhaps not just yet though. "The succession will be in 10 years time," Mourinho said. "Alex is fine and is better by the day."

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