Mourinho joins Guardiola in clubs’ managerial wish list
Published: 11.12.12 / Written by: David Gold
Jose Mourinho’s inevitable departure from Real Madrid this summer should spark a rush for his signature akin to the one taking place with his old foe Pep Guardiola.
The duo are the world’s two most sought after coaches, and a clutch of top teams are hoping to lure one or the other at the season’s end.
With the reports emanating from Spain that Mourinho is set to leave Madrid at the season’s end, the race to lure him will now commence with similar fervour to that surrounding Guardiola’s next move. The Portuguese has a huge reputation forged from his time with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Madrid. He is viewed as the closest guarantee you can get to success. Unlike others, he has no record of failure. Unlike Guardiola, he has managed more than one side to glory.
Yet Mourinho has his disadvantages. He has fallen out with so many people during his time in Madrid, that it underlines the problems any team bringing him in will face. Life is never straight forward with Mourinho at the helm. Arguments, disputes, problems, and a stealth of poor public relations steps (unless English journalists are involved) have undermined Mourinho’s reputation. He may have achieved success, but at what cost? He used up most of the big money available at Chelsea after Roman Abramovich bought the club. He then hovered up any available transfer funds under Massimo Morratti at Inter Milan. Both clubs have had to downsize radically since after the years of extravagance under the ‘Special One’.
Real Madrid, too, have spent huge sums under Mourinho but then that is nothing particularly unique to his time in charge. Madrid usually spend major figures, but unlike Chelsea and Inter Milan, they can afford it through the club’s natural revenue base.
With that, doubts have been raised as to whether Mourinho is able to co-ordinate and manage a long term project, or succeed without huge sums behind him. In that, he is almost like a higher class Harry Redknapp, the English coach who goes from club to club, achieving success, spending money, but then after he has left, those teams who he manages have more often than not faced financial problems.
Chelsea may well want Mourinho back. Abramovich craves success as well as good football, and if Guardiola rejects him, a return to Mourinho may be the best option available to him in his mind. Manchester United are a potential long term destination to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson, as are Manchester City. Mourinho seems more likely than Guardiola to end up in England next season.
Yet the teams chasing him all have reason to want Guardiola first. United may look on Guardiola as a better bet to bring long term stability and good football to Old Trafford, with a team who are accustomed to playing good football. Similarly Manchester City have developed into a team playing neat, free flowing football, and Chelsea want that style of football at Stamford Bridge.
But Guardiola cannot be everywhere all at once. When he eventually decides where he is going, expect those teams who are snubbed to go in search of the former, and possibly future, Chelsea boss.