It’s been almost three months that Jose Mourinho has been out of management.
Departing Manchester United with a mind-boggling £19.6 million pay package after (his usual schtick of) two and a half years at the helm of the Red Devils, Mou has been doing the rounds on the punditry circuit, slipping over on ice-rinks, and biting his tongue on what went on behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
There could be a route back into management via a familiar friendly face, with Real Madrid emerging as a contender to bring Mourinho back onto the touchline.
The mood is fairly sour at the Bernabeu, having been dumped out of the Copa del Rey to fierce rivals Barcelona, who scored three goals on Real’s home turf this week to seal passage to the final.
With Real also third in La Liga table, the outlook’s not looking good for interim manager Satago Solari, with the high demands, the thirst for success, and the expected results of hierarchy
Mourinho was boss of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013, coming off the back of his yet-surpassed continental treble earned at Serie A outfit Internazionale. He won the title in his second season, beating Barca by a clear nine points, and breaking numerous records - including highest point tally and goal difference - along the way.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has produced the biggest indication yet that Mourinho will be back in the Spanish capital, after taking to Twitter.
I have a feeling, and maybe a little more, that Mourinho will be on the Real Madrid bench next season.
It’s highly unlikely that Mourinho will be understudy to Solari, who was appointed manager at the end of October. Solari took over after the failed regime of former Spain head honcho Julen Lopetegui, who only lasted 14 games in charge.
Mourinho spoke to The Telegraph earlier this week of his desire to take on a job where there would be little ‘conflict’;
I don’t want an internal conflict
I want internal empathy.
I want to work in a club that understands there is a structure in place.
During my career I have been working in every possible circumstance. The most successful situations are not because of the structure but because of the empathy in the structure.
Real Madrid again face Barcelona this weekend in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu.