Former Chelsea manager is more inclined to wait and see how United situation develops before considering a quick return to the Bernabeu.
Jose Mourinho is resisting the temptation to explore a quick return to his former club Real Madrid as he waits to see how the situation will develop at Manchester United and elsewhere in Europe before making a final decision on his next job.
Madrid, where Mourinho left in 2013 to come back to Chelsea, have expressed an interest in bringing him back at some point, potentially as a prompt replacement for his old rival Rafa Benitez. But Mourinho is currently unwilling to revise his opinion that a swift return to Madrid would not be in the best interests of his career or his personal life.
As made clear in the statement released by his representatives CAA in the aftermath of his sacking from Chelsea this month, Mourinho is ready to work and would start immediately if he felt it was the right job. However, he left Madrid because the politics around the manager’s role – the expectation that he spent time networking with officials and media – was not to his tastes. He felt that he was obliged at Madrid to accept responsibilities far beyond the usual sphere of coaching players
There is no appetite either among Mourinho’s family – his wife Tami, daughter Matilde and son Jose junior – to return to the city. It has always been Mourinho’s view that he could have stayed beyond the three seasons he spent in Spain and that the club wanted him to do so, however fractured his relationship with some players had become. Since his sacking from Chelsea, there have been inquiries by Madrid about his future plans.
Currently third, Madrid play Real Sociedad on Wednesday and Gary Neville’s Valencia on Sunday before the winter break. They scored ten goals against Rayo Vallecano in their last league game, which followed defeat to Villarreal. As ever, the margins between what constitutes success or failure are fine indeed and Benitez’s position is by no means guaranteed over the next few weeks.
Mourinho’s attitude towards Madrid could change if it turns out that the club is his best chance of a return to elite-level football in the next six months. He could yet surprise the football world by picking a less-powerful club but the likelihood is that his return will be with one of the big names in European football.
For the meantime, Mourinho is waiting to see how events play out for his friend and former boss Louis van Gaal at United, who face Chelsea today at Old Trafford. The Portuguese coach has spent some of the previous week with friends sea-fishing off the coast near Setubal. He has now left Portugal for a family holiday.
For the first time in Mourinho’s career there is no clear next move. With the exception of his first club, Benfica, and his previous sacking at Chelsea in 2007, Mourinho has always had a job in the pipeline when he has left a club. This is relatively new territory for him and he has decided to give himself more time to make the right decision this time around.
Those close to Mourinho say that an international job is not currently on his agenda. He misses the day-to-day interaction with players and is not interested in a job where there are such long periods of inactivity.