Is Jose Mourinho about to be foiled by his own excellence?

The Special One could turn up at Old Trafford before his seat is free


Jose Mourinho doesn’t do continuity. Instead, he has an almost fail-proof formula for progressing his managerial career: arrive at a club, make them absolutely brilliant and then sod off before it all goes wrong.

The only time he disobeyed it was at Chelsea, their constant near misses in Europe becoming an obsession as he hoped to hang on to indulge in the perfect farewell he enjoyed at Porto and Inter, securing the Champions League then drifting into the darkness.

An unforeseen flaw could creep into the policy this summer though caused by his own prowess – he has made Real Madrid too good, too soon. After going five points clear of Barcelona, it is effectively unacceptable not to win La Liga.

They are making the task of dethroning a team who have dominated Spanish football for three years seem surprisingly simple. Sure, there was that slight hiccup where they got shown up by Barcelona in front of all their fans once again, yet the important thing is that they recovered.

What if they follow that likely success by stripping their foes of silverware in the Champions League? If Mourinho can make Pep Guardiola look like a mere mortal, securing the capital club a first title in four years and first Champions League in a decade, it will be time to locate the nearest exit again.

Most believe that he is holding out for what would be the riskiest job of his career – replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – but he is in danger of being 12 months too early to fit in with Fergie’s latest sketchy retirement plans.

What would he do? Sit out a year? Risk everything unravelling at the Bernabeu? Return to Chelsea? Would Manchester City “do the Inter” and harshly bin Roberto Mancini to clear space for Mourinho and his ego? If so, would Balotelli run back to Italy? Too many questions? Maybe? Okay…

Stan James are offering a hefty 7/1 on his Specialness managing in the Premier League in 2012. Alan “Insight” Shearer is 5/2 to do the same.

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