LONDON: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho admits he remains keen to return to the English Premier League — as long as clubs interested in hiring him roll out the red carpet.
Mourinho has signed a new contract keeping him at Real until 2016 after masterminding the club’s Spanish title triumph last season.
But the self-styled “Special One”, who remains a cult hero in England after his three-year reign at Chelsea, never misses a chance to remind the football world of his worth.
Whenever a managerial vacancy comes up at a big Premier League club, Mourinho is linked with the job and he remains the favourite to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United or Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.
A return to Chelsea is less likely given the manner of his sacking in 2007 and owner Roman Abramovich’s continued interest in former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
But Mourinho says he would consider any offer — if the club in question show him enough love and respect.
Asked if a return to Stamford Bridge was possible, Mourinho told BBC radio on Monday: “I will go where people really want me and, when that moment arrives, they show me they really want me.
“But I have to repeat always this: I am at Real Madrid. I like very much to be. I want one day to be back in English football, yes. I always said that.”
Mourinho has enjoyed tremendous success wherever he has managed, winning the Champions League and UEFA Cup with underdogs Porto before moving to Chelsea, where he won the Premier League title in his first two seasons.
More Champions League success followed when Mourinho took over at Inter Milan and he became just the fourth manager to win the title in four major European leagues when his Real side ended Barcelona’s reign as kings of Spanish football.
The Portuguese coach, whose Real team were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia in their La Liga opener on Sunday, believes the secret of his success lies in his ability to immerse himself in a club in the same manner as a supporter.
“When I go to a club, I wear the shirt, I feel the shirt like it’s my first one or my last one,” he said. “I feel the fans as part of myself. I create eternal links with fans.
“I go to play against Chelsea and I feel (it), I go to Italy and I feel (it). I work for the clubs, I work for the people that trust me and of course the owners and the directors but the clubs are the fans.
“For me, it’s one of my qualities. I become immediately one of them and I feel that I am one of them with a privileged position to fight for the club and to try to bring to all of them happiness.”