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Mourinho unemployed, Chelsea need new manager, speculation ensues (with bonus Benítez, Allegri!)

1 + 1 = 7

Fulham FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Third time’s the charm? Or as they (apparently) say in Portuguese, à terceira é de vez — a third time is once and for all.

That’s certainly what certain speculative stories would want us to believe, including the latest special from The Sun (by way of the Mail), or the recent effort from Sky, even.

After all, Mourinho remains unemployed but is very much looking and pursuing happiness. And of course because it’s Mourinho, everything he says is extremely meaningful and Machiavellian and mind gamey. (Not.) Or at least treated as such. (Yes.)

“Winning in a different fifth championship or winning a Champions League for a different third club are things I’d like to do, but I’m not obsessed with it. I’m more convinced by the project. I want to go happy. I don’t want to accept a proposal without really being convinced.

“And to be happy it does not necessarily mean winning, which has always been my essence. But if they told me ‘today there are no conditions to win, but we want you to create the conditions to win’, I would evaluate.”

Once Special, now Happy. Heard that one before! And we all know how it ended. Again. Though Mourinho also claims to be a truly changed man now, in all aspects.

“I’ve been using the time to work on my future, to improve my technical staff, to find a new dimension to my work, without obviously losing what I am. It was me who, being as I am and thinking as I think, got to where I am. But my work has been at that level. I want to be better, I want to adapt, I want to reformulate myself and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

-José Mourinho; source: Eleven Sports via Sky

A project in need of creating conditions to become winners once more? The need to reformulate certain ideas and find new dimensions? Sounds like Chelsea, right?

It also sounds like Inter Milan, with whom Mourinho was linked earlier, including when that interview was actually conducted back in May. Inter was always supposed to be the place that still most unanimously adored Mourinho. Wonder how he’s felt about them going for Conte instead, considering their back-and-forths a couple seasons ago?

So, if Inter are out, and Real Madrid are out, and a new league isn’t so tempting, what does that leave? Porto? Leiria? Can’t sell papers with those names! Chelsea it is then.

The Sun reach all the way back to March to support their speculation.

“What I have in mind is that I would like to be back in the summer, in June, for a new club, for a new pre-season. I know exactly what I don’t want. That’s the reason why I had to say already to three or four different offers. I had to say no.

”And I know what I want, in terms of not a specific club but the nature of the job, the dimension of the job, I know what I want.”

In that same interview, Mourinho does make it clear that winning still trumps all, lest we get the wrong idea with his softer stance.

“I won titles everywhere I have been and I cannot run away from my mentality.

“Some coaches like to sell the idea of a philosophy, but you have to sell the philosophy after you win. If you win nothing what is the point? If your team plays very well, your team wins, so I don’t like these contradictions we have in football nowadays.”

-José Mourinho; source: beIN Sports via FourFourTwo

Mourinho has certainly been saying some intriguing things, and if we haven’t had the two previous go-arounds, it might even sound perfect. The bookies are certainly counting on some of those sentiments by setting reasonable odds on a return, even if Frank Lampard remains the clear favorite.

Then again, third time’s the charm, and the truth (as we say in Hungarian), and it’s once and for all.

P.S.: And if that’s not speculative enough for you, here’s Tuttosport linking Rafa Benítez with a return to Chelsea. LOL! (And this has now spread like wildfire across the English media.)

P.P.S.: In the double bonus round, we also have Max Allegri rejecting Chelsea despite never getting seriously linked with the job in the first place.

The Italian media remain convinced that what’s holding up the Sarri deal is Chelsea looking for a replacement, so the amount of nonsense that’s getting generated is starting to reach critical mass.

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