Jose Mourinho has strongly hinted that he will be leaving his post as Real Madrid manager at the end of the season in comments following the club’s Champions League semifinal exit to Borussia Dortmund.
Madrid crashed out 4-3 on aggregate to the German side to mean that he has lost in the last four of the competition in each of his three seasons in charge at the Bernabeu. And following the final whistle, the Portuguese boss intimated that it would be his last campaign with the side he led to the Spanish title last season.
“Maybe not,” he responded when asked by ITV if he could win the Champions League with Madrid next season. “I love to be where people love me to be.”
In his press conference, Mourinho went further in suggesting that he could return to England, where he enjoyed a far better relationship with the media than he has done in Spain.
“I know in England I am loved, I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one,” he explained, according to the BBC.
"I am loved by the fans and the media who treat me in a fair way. I know in Spain it is different because many people hate me."
The 50-year-old did also stress that he has yet to come to a final decision about his future.
"I didn't make a decision because I have a contract and the respect I have for the club and the president," he added.
"At the end of the season I want to sit down with the president and speak about it."
It has been widely believed for some time that Mourinho would leave his post this summer. Throughout the season there have been reports of splits in the Madrid dressing room, particularly between Mourinho and some of Madrid’s experienced players.
Sergio Ramos was controversially dropped earlier in the campaign, while club captain Iker Casillas has yet to regain his place in the side since recovering from a broken hand. Madrid have been off the pace in La Liga since the early stages of the season.
The talk now is likely to immediately turn to Mourinho’s next destination. His first choice would appear to be a return to his former club Chelsea. German publication Bild claimed last week that Mourinho had already been in talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and had instructed the Russian billionaire to purchase Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
However, Mourinho may decide against a return to Stamford Bridge if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League for next season.
The former Porto boss, who has won Champions League titles with two different clubs, has also been linked with Manchester City. Last season’s English champions have made a poor defense of their title this campaign and there are still doubts about manager Roberto Mancini.
His appointment appears unlikely, however, due to City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and technical director Txiki Begiristain being formally of Barcelona. Mourinho has enjoyed a fractious relationship with the Catalan club and was also turned down for the Barcelona job by Begiristain.
The other team suggested as a possibility is Paris Saint-Germain. The big-spending French side are looking to establish themselves as a major European force and would surely be tempted to recruit a man of Mourinho’s track record. Mourinho’s comments on Tuesday would appear to rule PSG out as a possibility, however.