Real Madrid have confirmed Jose Mourinho will leave the club at the end of the season.
The Portuguese coach has been tipped to leave the Bernabeu for some time, having fallen out with a number of senior players during recent months. On the pitch, this has been a hugely disappointing season for the 50-year-old, who will end the campaign without a trophy for the first time in a managerial career which has also taken in Porto, Chelsea and Internazionale.
Following the Copa del Rey final defeat to Atletico Madrid on Friday, a match in which he was sent off, it had been suggested that Mourinho could even depart before the end of the season. And whilst it has now been confirmed he will remain in the dugout for the final two matches, president Florentino Perez has told a press conference there will then be a parting of ways.
“After the talks with our coach Jose Mourinho we have reached the agreement to end the contractual relationship at the end of this season,” he said. “Both the club and the coach agree that it is the right moment to end this relationship. On behalf of the directors, I would like to thank Jose Mourinho for his hard work over the last three years.”
Mourinho has been heavily tipped to make an emotional return to Stamford Bridge, where he would succeed the soon-to-depart Rafael Benitez. During his previous spell in the capital he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups, and even though it is now almost six years since his controversial sacking, his name is still sung by his adoring fans.
His return is expected to be confirmed within the first two weeks of next months, although the announcement from Perez could accelerate this. It was reported at the weekend that a deal, worth a staggering £12million-per-year, had already been agreed between the coach and Roman Abramovich, the man who issued him with a P45 in September 2007.
Real, meanwhile, are keen to appoint another former Chelsea coach, Carlo Ancelotti, ahead of next season. The Italian, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double whilst in London, won two Champions Leagues during an eight-year stint in charge of Milan, and this season has led Paris St Germain to their first Ligue 1 title since 1994.
The 53-year-old asked to leave the French side on Sunday, but his request has been rejected by a club which have him under contract for another year. Sporting director Leonardo told L’Equipe: “Carlo asked to leave for Real Madrid but we want him to stay. No decision has been made. Our priority is still that he stays. We have never contacted other coaches.”