The news that Manchester United Gaffer Jose Mourinho had been relieved of his duties yesterday may have come as a shock to most football fans across the world simply because of the timing, but in reality very few will disagree that it had been coming. The self-proclaimed 'Special One' has, despite the hopes of United fans when he was initially appointed, gone full circle and had pretty much been on borrowed time since the start of the current season as a result of his seemingly frosty relationship with some of his players and the media.
The Portuguese followed a now most certainly predictable pattern which he did in his two spells at Chelsea and his spell at Real Madrid. Ever since Mourinho joined Chelsea in his first spell, he has had what the media and football enthusiasts call the '3rd season curse', and that trend has continued with his unceremonious exit from the Theater of Dreams.
He may have spent only two trophy laden years with Inter Milan before stepping down to take charge of Real but one can only imagine if same wouldn't have happened with the Italian giants had Mourinho stayed on for a third season.
Where next for him?
The Portuguese manager has become somewhat of a managerial journeyman after leaving his eighth job since his first at the helm of Benfica 18 years ago. He seems to be a 'quick fix' of sorts, providing instant success wherever he has been but never really one for long term planning and team development. His managerial CV means that potential suitors will still be falling over each other for his appointment. Let's take a look at who those suitors could be:
A former giant of the Italian game seeking to return to former glories. Ex- midfielder and current manager Gennaro Gattuso is doing a decent job keeping them competitive but appointing Mourinho would make for an interesting race for the Scudetto and would give the derby del milano some added spice due to his past affiliations with Inter Milan.
German Bundesliga juggernauts who have stagnated somewhat under Niko Kovac. If their form doesn't change soon, expect the Croatian manager to be axed and the Special One's name to be drummed up on a list of potential replacements. Germany is uncharted territory for Mourinho and he'd surely jump at the challenge.
France is also uncharted territory for Mourinho and PSG just hired German Thomas Tuchel this season who's currently strolling to the Ligue 1 title. However, the holy grail for the club hierarchy remains the UEFA Champions League and if Tuchel fails to deliver then expect them to gun for someone with experience in winning European football's biggest prize.
This would seem like a more romantic choice for Mourinho given his past exploits at the Estadio do Dragao. The club only just recovered the league title from SL Benfica last season and their fierce rivals have dominated the domestic scene in recent times, winning the last 4 titles before that. This would literally be going back to the drawing board for Mourinho as his managerial rise started with the club nicknamed 'The dragons'.