Mourinho to Manchester United is actually not so mad
In my mind, the rumour about Inter boss Jose Mourinho one day replacing Alex Ferguson at Man United is 2+2 = 4.5…ie. closer to the truth than the usual tittle-tattle but without concrete foundations.
The idea, which has been around ever since he left Chelsea, was given fresh impetus by Mourinho himself last week when he said he would like to return to England once he is finished at the San Siro.
People had talked about Spain and the Portugal national job but Mourinho, threatening to annoy his Inter bosses, made it clear he was still in love with English soccer and the passion of the Premier League.
His Inter contract will run out in 2011, about the time Fergie will finally hang up the overcoat.
At first glance, Mourinho seems the obvious candidate. He snatched two titles off United while at Chelsea, his charisma is world-renowned even if it tends to get him into trouble (just like Fergie over the years) and he is a great motivator of top players.
His rivals for the job, if he wanted it, are diminishing by the minute. Fergie’s former assistant Carlos Queiroz has made a patchy start in charge of Portugal and following a disappointing time at Real Madrid, some may feel he is better as a No. 2 than the boss.
Fabio Capello has said the England job is his last, Mark Hughes may have burned his bridges by joining Manchester City and his replacement at Blackburn Paul Ince left Old Trafford under a cloud. Sunderland’s Roy Keane also departed the club in a rush and may even be too outspoken for the Man Utd hierarchy compared with Fergie and Mourinho.
But Jose isn’t there yet. His Inter side have been far from convincing so far this season and although it is early days, any major hiccup could affect his chances.
Then again, Inter are joint top of Serie A and lead their Champions League group despite not playing well.
Born winners are hard to find.
PHOTO: Inter coach Jose Mourinho, with his new haircut, watches his side draw 0-0 at home to Genoa, Oct. 26 REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo