Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho today stressed he has not made a decision over where he will be next season.
The Portuguese strongly hinted after Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund that he wants to return to Chelsea by declaring that he is “loved” in England – in contrast to Spain, where he believes people “hate” him.
But, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Real Valladolid, Mourinho claimed nothing was certain yet.
“It’s not worth talking about if I go or not,” he said. “If I go, I will not give explanations.
“I’m working with total professionalism and I still have the same honour and pleasure to work for this club as I did a month or two ago.
“I have not taken the decision yet. First to know will be my wife and my children. Then the president (Florentino Perez) and director general (Jose Angel Sanchez).
“We will speak about the future after the end of the season. I have a Copa del Rey final and La Liga matches to play.”
Mourinho added: “I feel no pressure from the press. It’s not a problem for me. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself.
“Of the clubs I have left there were no negative words – all just the opposite. When I leave here it is not going to be any different.”
If he does head to England this summer, his return would seemingly be welcomed by his potential counterparts.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, who worked under his compatriot at Porto, Chelsea and Inter, said yesterday: “He obviously wants to come back to England, whether he has a club aligned or not, we never know.
“It’s extremely unlikely when someone makes it that public that something is not set out already but he is a great addition to the Premier League. He has a wonderful history in this league and I think it will be spectacular to have him back.”
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has a perceived rivalry with Mourinho dating back to 2008, when the Portuguese succeeded him as Inter boss.
The Italian did not comment directly about Mourinho at his latest press conference, but suggested his return could be one factor in making the top end of the Premier League more competitive.
Mancini said: “I think that it is important that next year there will be four or five teams who can play for the title.
“Not only two, like in the last two years. It is better for the championship.
“I think next year will be stronger than this year probably. Also Chelsea is a good team this year. We hope Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal can play for the title.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who was part of Mourinho’s backroom staff at Stamford Bridge, said: “He will be really looking forward to it if he does come back here.
“He had a wonderful time in England and he loves the country and the passion and he will be a great addition.”
Everton boss David Moyes agreed, saying: “He is a great manager and if he chooses to come back, I think it will be great for the Premier League. But at the moment, you don’t know – we are just guessing. Nothing is for sure.
“I think everyone enjoyed him when he was here before and I’m sure if he chooses to come back, you will enjoy him again.”
Fulham manager Martin Jol felt Mourinho has always fancied a return to England.
The former Spurs boss said: “I always knew that he – and he told me and he told other people – would like to come back to England years ago, before he left.
“And I said the same years ago when I left England because this is probably the country with the strongest league.
“Especially in London – Manchester, of course, is a very good city as well - but London is a great football city in Europe.
“I was very happy to come back and he probably feels the same.”