Outspoken manager Jose Mourinho recently stated that he wants to return to England.
The former Chelsea manager has three years left with Real Madrid, but has already stated he will honor his contract. Mourinho has found the position to be difficult, and has expressed his interest in finding a longer-term project to manage.
I miss England and my next job will be in England, Mourinho said in the Sun. There is unfinished business. And I think England wants me back, no? It was the most enjoyable time of my career. My Chelsea time was amazing as a football manager and family man. My family and I enjoyed it so much. We made so many friends here. We still keep in touch, we still come back. In football, there are a few victories here I would like to repeat. I will talk to my agent and get a project for my career.
Based on knowledge of Mourinho's finicky tastes, there is one club that seems ideal for the Portuguese manager to find himself with in 2014: Tottenham Hotspur.
There are numerous reasons why the London club and the 48-year-old manager would be a great fit.
1) Mourinho knows his way around London. Having worked in Milan and Madrid, Mourinho knows and probably has a fondness for cultural big cities, and London is about as metropolitan as it gets. This rules out non-London clubs: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, and many others. Also, those clubs may neither want nor be able to afford Mourinho.
2) Bad blood with Chelsea and Arsenal. The two giants of London would certainly be on Mourinho's radar if not for his checkered history with both clubs. Though many Chelsea fans would love Mourinho to return, he had a falling out with owner Roman Abramovich, and it doesn't seem like his style to return to a previous club. As for Arsenal, Mourinho's harsh exchanges with manager Arsene Wenger are well chronicled, so a move to Emirates Stadium is not likely in the cards. Managing Tottenham would be great incentive for Mourinho to beat those clubs.
3) Fulham and West Ham United aren't known for spending money. Though Mourinho would probably relish an opportunity to make a non-great team a title winner, Fulham and West Ham are two well-known London teams but might be too much of a challenge for The Special One. It would be a stretch to think Mourinho would manage a club that hasn't made a legitimate effort to spend money on world-class talent.
4) Tottenham are on the rise. The Spurs have made great strides without Mourinho, so imagine what they could do with him as their manager. Over the years, Tottenham have tried to crack a place in the top three but without success. Currently, the Spurs have a collection of young talent that Mourinho might find appealing, particularly Gareth Bale.
5) Harry Redknapp probably doesn't have a long-term future with Tottenham. At age 64, and having bounced around Premier League clubs over the past decade, Redknapp likely won't be with the club in three years, and could leave on his own terms or Tottenham would consider letting him go. It would be perfect timing if he left in three years, so Mourinho could just swoop in without any problem. Meanwhile, Mourinho has shown nothing but respect and praise for Redknapp, and probably admires the way he's groomed talent.
6) Mourinho has shown a liking to Tottenham. Often one to self-boast at the expense of others, Mourinho doesn't mind burning bridges. Yet he has never made any public comments that were disparaging toward Tottenham. In Mourinho's world, not ripping on a team is a way of offering a compliment. Also, he allowed Rafael van der Vaart to go to White Hart Lane at a bargain transfer rate.
7) Tottenham tried to get him once before. Back in 2007, Tottenham attempted to lure Mourinho to the club, but his Chelsea severance package had a clause preventing him from joining another Premier League club that season. So, with Mourinho aware that Tottenham wanted him, he knows he's on their radar, and the feeling might be mutual.
8) Mourinho can take Tottenham to a higher level. As far as world clubs go, Tottenham are not part of the same category of greatness as Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter, and a few others. Mourinho would have the opportunity to take a team that lacks the prestige of those clubs and turn it into one of the best in the world. It would present the greatest achievement for a man who desperately values his managing legacy.
What happens between now and 2014 is any body's guess.
However in 2011, the prospect of Jose Mourinho managing Spurs in three years is certainly plausible.