Manchester United must ‘act fast’ according to The Sun, if they want Jose Mourinho moving the magnets on their crest-emblazoned tactics board next season.
This is because, however implausible it appears, the Portuguese is being sounded out for a return to Inter Milan.
A price of 1/5 makes the twice-sacked Chelsea manager clear favourite to replace seemingly destined-for-doom Dutchman Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, with the media consensus dictating he’s as desperate for the job as the club are to get him.
However, the previously unmentioned prospect of a return to the San Siro is allegedly on the self-proclaimed Special One’s plate and these factors outline why he’d rather there than Old Trafford.
The race for the Scudetto isn’t as congested as the Premier League.
Juventus are the undisputable overlords in the Kingdom of Calcio, but they’re not of the same calibre as Bayern Munich, for instance, where their domestic rivals are so far behind only a Manchester City-sized investment would enable the ground to be made up.
Mourinho’s reputation was heavily tarnished following his Chelsea debacle and never once across his glittering career has he proved himself capable of restoring a struggling giant to greatness.
Dragging Man Utd back into the trophy-winning mix won’t be easy and Mourinho can’t afford successive Premier League failures.
Inter, however, have taken to pumping money into the squad in recent seasons and with only one titan to overthrow, as opposed to the four or five in England, his task wouldn’t be as tough.
Returning to a favoured haunt worked well last time.
To say the wheels fell off for Mourinho at Chelsea would be a monumental understatement (wheels off, carriage tumbles down mountainside, erupts into ball of flames at the bottom, cooks carcasses of those unfortunate not to have perished upon impact is a more apt metaphor), but prior to the acrimonious ending, he steered the Blues to their fourth Premier League title in his second stint.
At Inter, he won Serie A twice in his first term at the helm and often speaks of the affection he holds for the Nerazzurri, just as he did with Chelsea.
Mourinho is a massive fan of Mauro Icardi
Indeed, the morning gossip columns suggest he’d make the Inter striker his first United signing.
The Argentine, however, has no desire to leave if he can be taken at his word, telling reporters in January:
“I would also turn down Manchester United. Inter are working on a great project and I want to play my part in it.”
It looks as though if Mourinho wants to work with Icardi, he’ll have to go to Milan to do it.
Funnily enough, a trip to the fashion capital of Italy is exactly what the Portuguese will be doing this weekend, according to La Stampa. He’s said to be attending Inter’s match with Sampdoria on a ‘scouting mission’ ahead of his United appointment.
A chat about getting his old job back is equally likely.