L'Equipe open up Wednesday's front cover with a focus on the Portuguese manager who they suggest could soon be 'The Special Ligue 1' in France.
French newspaper L'Equipe have suggested that Portuguese manager José Mourinho will make his footballing return on their shores. Wednesday's front cover played with self-named 'Special One', asking the question if he will soon be the 'Special Ligue 1'.
Mourinho to Ligue 1?
The former Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United coach is currently out of work - although is making numerous appearances on television as a contributor to football shows. Recently he made clear that his return to management was likley to arrive in the summer, following being sacked by the Red Devils.
Another clever L’Equipe headline on Jose this morning. Personally, can’t see him going to the English third tier pic.twitter.com/zlduAO8ugk— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) 27 March 2019
Reports from France see the French top flight being the likely landing place for Mourinho, and this would give him the chance of picking up a league title in yet another country, something he has achieved with all aforementioned clubs with the notable exception of United. The major challenge, however, appears to be that he would not be joining Paris Saint-Germain, where it appears that Thomas Tuchel has been guaranteed his position for at least next season.
When asked about his interest in taking over a team in France, he said:
"If I say no, I will not be being honest. If I say yes, you will begin to speculate about the clubs that could interest me and that will have an available position."
And just as he said, that is exactly what the French newspaper has done. Their initial focus is on either Olympique Lyon or AS Monaco, although they also refer to a game mid-February where he went to see Lille vs Montpellier after being invited by Luis Campos. The connection with the Lille sporting director, who also worked at Monaco and Real Madrid, has kept them in the 'potential' category too.
No specific clues from Mourinho
Of course, this speculation, based on what Mourinho had to say, has to be taken with a pinch of salt. The man who knows he needs to find a way to improve his weakened stock did not rule taking on a club from Spain, England, Italy or Portugal.
"I could go back to one of the countries I already know," he said, leaving the door open to almost any possibility.