Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho gave his strongest hint yet that he is ready to return to Chelsea this summer after watching his side exit the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
A 2-0 win at the Bernabeu last night was not enough to reverse the damage of the first leg in Germany as Madrid lost 4-3 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.
After the match, Mourinho turned his attention to a future that appears certain to lie away from Madrid, and said he wanted to return to where he was “loved”.
He told ITV: “Perhaps I won’t be here next year, I want to be where I want to be.”
He later told a press conference: “I haven’t made a decision because I have a contract here [with Madrid]. In football people break contracts when they want to but more than the contract, its the respect I have for the club and for the players.
“I know that in England I am loved by the fans and the media, who are fair with me. They criticise me when they have to but give me credit when I deserve it.
“I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one, but in Spain it’s a bit different, some people hate me, many of them are in this room [Spanish journalists], so its difficult for me because I like the club.”
Mourinho stressed he would not make any announcement until the end of the season, with Madrid still chasing silverware as they prepare for the Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid.
“I want to play the final, finish the season, win the final and finish second, and then sit down with Florentino Perez, my president and my friend,” he said.
Late goals by Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were not enough for Madrid to eliminate Jurgen Klopp’s side, who made it to Wembley thanks to their 4-1 win in the first leg in Dortmund.
Mourinho admitted he was disappointed to not make the final, but defended his tenure at the club.
“It’s not my culture to be satisified by not winning the competition but we know that its a difficult competition, you don’t win it when you want to, you win when things go your way,” he said.
“I don’t live for near achievements, nor does this club. But after the club won the three European Cups [in 1998, 2000 and 2002] Madrid entered a period of not even making it to the quarter finals.
“We weren’t even seeded when I got here and my first worry was qualifying from the group stages.
“Sergio Ramos came here in 2005 but didn’t play a Champions League quarter final until I got here. I have got the club to three semi-finals and earned them a lot of money in bonuses.”