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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
What next for Mourinho?

By Simon Austin

ODDS ON JOSE'S NEXT JOB
Jose Mourinho
4-9 Portugal
5-2 Spurs
7-1 Inter Milan
14-1 Barcelona
20-1 Porto
20-1 Juventus
20-1 AC Milan
Odds: Paddy Power 20/09/07
Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his ambition to manage his native Portugal one day, but it would represent a major U-turn were he to follow the bookies' predictions and do so now.

"I really want to coach the Portuguese national team and I feel as though Portugal also want it," he said last year.

"The ideal time would be 12 years from now, covering the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 European Championships."

Mourinho said he relished the day-to-day involvement of club management and argued international football was for older bosses.

The 44-year-old instead suggested Italy's Serie A was his next managerial destination.

606: DEBATE

"Serie A is something that motivates me," he said in December. "I was in Spain four years... so I know everything there. Italy is the unknown."

The problem is there are not currently any suitable vacancies for Mourinho in Italy.

Andrea Ramazzotti, a football writer for Corriero dello Sport, told BBC Sport: "There are three big clubs in Italy - Juventus, Milan and Inter.

Jose does not like interference. He rightly believes the manager takes care of the team and the owner takes care of the finances

Joao Vale Azevedo
Former Benfica owner
"None of them is currently looking for a new manager. Carlo Ancelotti is very secure at Milan.

"He won the Champions League last season and has a very good relationship with owner Silvio Berlusconi and vice-president Adriano Galliani.

"Juve don't have big money following the match-fixing scandal and are happy with Claudio Ranieri at the moment.

"Roberto Mancini has signed a contract until 2011 with Inter, worth 4.5m a year.

"This is not a good moment for Mourinho to find a bench in Italy."

Ramasotti says Mourinho held talks with Inter last spring.

"He met Marco Branca in London in April 2006," Ramasotti says. "They agreed that if Mourinho won the Champions League and Inter did not win the title, then he would take over at the end of 2006/7.

"Neither of these things happened and it never went any further."

Yet Ramasotti says Inter owner Massimo Moratti still holds Mourinho in high regard and could turn to him if the club have a disappointing season.

So what about a return to Spain, where he began his football career with Barcelona?

Joao Rosado, a football writer for the Record newspaper in Portugal, who knows Mourinho well, believes he has "unfinished business" at the club following his time there as a translator and then assistant manager.

Frank Rijkaard's position as manager at the Nou Camp seemed precarious at the end of last season after Barca failed to win either La Liga or the Champions League.

But there has been bad blood between Mourinho and Barca following six fractious Champions League encounters and many of the club's fans still despise the Special One.

Real Madrid also seems an unlikely destination.

German Bernd Schuster has made an impressive start at the Bernebeu after taking over from Fabio Capello last summer and president Ramon Calderon made disparaging comments about Mourinho last summer.

It is doubtful whether Mourinho could cope with the meddling of Calderon and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic in any case.

Joao Vale Azevedo, who brought Mourinho to Benfica when he owned the Lisbon club, told BBC Sport: "Jose does not like interference.

"He rightly believes that the manager takes care of the team and the owner takes care of the finances."

This might also count out Spurs, who are second-favourites to land the Portuguese, yet believe in the continental model of a director of football overseeing a manager.

This structure has been a cause of friction between current boss Martin Jol and director of football Damien Comolli.

A move back to Portuguese club football, even with Porto, Benfica or Sporting Lisbon, is "100% unlikely", according to Azevedo.

"Jose has achieved everything there is to achieve in Portugal and deserves one of the biggest stages in European football," he said.



SEE ALSO
Reaction to Mourinho's exit
20 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Mourinho in photos
20 Sep 07 |  Chelsea


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