REAL MADRID

Mourinho has everything ready and is waiting for Real Madrid

The Portuguese manager has spoken with his future support staff and those around him say that it is now a question of 'when' he returns to Los Blancos.

Mourinho, en una reciente entrevista concedida a Sky Sports.
SEBASTIEN BOZON AFP

José Mourinho has gone through several phases since leaving Manchester United. Initially he turned away from the noise in order to reflect on the value of what he was doing; a genuine need to review his own methodology led him to question what should change. Without his lieutenant, Rui Faria - from whom he split and who was sorely missed in the final months at United - he needed to lay the groundwork for a future club with a coaching team full of renewed energy. Mourinho has spoken with coaches, physical trainers and former colleagues to try and get to the bottom of what was being done wrong and what he needs to do to stay at the top.

Very quickly, however, he decided that in parallel to this he should maintain his presence in the limelight and began to collaborate with the media. First on Russian television programme RT, then DAZN and Sky Sports, where he admitted that the job of commentator or pundit is rather more difficult than he thought. While there he has given us a couple of gems (some subtle digs at United, and some surprising criticism of Lampard and Solskjaer) and generally seems to be having a good time in the role. He has since been back to Old Trafford where he was applauded and shown affection, certainly much more than he received near the end of his time there. Distance helps us to forget.

While this has been going on, rumours have emerged about his future, some more plausible than others. They say they want him in China, in Portugal (Sporting), in France (Lyon) and Bild reported a few days ago that he is flirting with Dortmund. He has also dropped the fact that he is learning German into several recent interviews.

Listening skills | Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gestures to Juventus fans.

Listening skills | Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gestures to Juventus fans.

In his case, the build up of such speculation normally leads to something, just as Lyon president, Aulas, said: Mourinho has already decided where he wants to manage. Everything is already in place, including his technical team. It is only a start date that is missing. This is what those who know him well are saying. Mourinho is waiting for Real Madrid. He believes that want him (he is aware that their are doubts over Zidane from within) and he is keen to have another chance at Los Blancos. Interest in him from some inner circles of the Madrid leadership has been admitted to but there is also denial over is any desire to have him return. Both extremes. But sources very close to the man in question admit that it is not so much about "if he will go to Madrid," but "when".