Jose Mourinho fails to quash rumours that he will leave Real Madrid at end of season

The Special One's future uncertain following stuttering start to domestic campaign

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season according to respected Spanish newspaper Marca.

The report comes off the back of the La Liga champions' sluggish start to the domestic campaign that sees them trail arch rivals Barcelona by 11 points.

They are also behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, although by only five points following Mourinho's side's 2-0 derby victory on Saturday.

Real Madrid are notorious for their ruthless firing of managers, and although last season's success which saw them win their first La Liga title for four years has given Mourinho time, it hasn't made him indispensable.

Some sections of Real Madrid's support have been making their unhappiness known, particularly during last week's Copa del Rey defeat of Alcoyano when Mourinho's name was jeered.

Marca are now reporting that an agreement has been reached between Mourinho and president Florentino Perez that will see the Portuguese depart. Under a picture of a broken heart, the Marca report claims: "Jose Mourinho will not coach Real Madrid next season.

"Both Mou and Florentino Perez believe the Portuguese's cycle on the bench at the Bernabeu is exhausted and that the current situation cannot continue beyond June 30."

The former Chelsea manager was questioned about the report at a press conference today, during which he failed to quash the rumours, instead telling the assembled reporters to speak with the journalist that wrote the story.

"I am not going to speak about this. Speak to your colleague about it, the one who has written the story," he said.

"Organise a meal with that person. I'm not saying a single word."

Asked if Perez was happy with the way he was running the team, Mourinho replied: "Ask him. I don't have to say when I spoke with the president, I don't have to say what we spoke about. I don't suppose the president will say anything either.

"We have a very good relationship. But I am not going to try and add to this situation."

Another journalist asked why he refused to answer questions about his contract.

"Because I don't want to add to the story. There is no story," he replied.

The journalist persisted. "Are you going to continue next year?"

Mourinho answered: "For me there is no story."

While supporters are unhappy with the domestic campaign, Champions League success is the priority for Real this season - a competition Mourinho has won twice, with Porto and Inter Milan. Real are already assured a place in the knock-out stage of this year's competition after coming through their tricky group with a game to spare.

The report from Marca comes on the same day that Sir Alex Ferguson said Mourinho was capable of managing Manchester United. While that particular vacancy will have to wait until Ferguson decides to retire, speculation as to Mourinho's future is sure to rage, with Manchester City and a return to Chelsea possible destinations.

Marca, who are known to have strong links with Real, report Perez has become concerned by a number of incidents this season which have not cast the club in a good light.

Firstly, there was an incident with Sergio Ramos which saw the Spain defender put on Mesut Ozil's shirt underneath his own after the German was substituted at half-time of a game against Deportivo La Coruna.

Ramos later claimed he was merely showing support for his team-mate but the move was perceived as an attempt to undermine Mourinho's authority.

Ramos was later dropped.

There was also the public spat with Alberto Toril, boss of the reserve side Real Madrid Castilla, who play in the Segunda Division.

Mourinho accused Toril of focusing too much on results rather than trying to produce young players for the first team.

And it would seem a publicity stunt prior to the Atletico game may have been the final straw. Mourinho walked out onto the Bernabeu pitch 40 minutes prior to kick-off in what appeared to be an attempt to gauge the feeling of the fans.

Marca's report added: "Florentino believes Mourinho is 'committing suicide' with his decisions and statements this season - the Ramos case, the war with Toril and checking the pulse of the Bernabeu.

"They will try to get to the end of the season in a friendly manner as Florentino does not want a crisis in the middle of the season.

"But what is certain is that the decision is taken: this will be the last season of the Mou tenure in Madrid."

Speaking about Ferguson's comments, Mourinho said today: "Friends are like this. Friends always speak well of each other. His succession isn't near. It should be in 10 years or so. He is getting better and better. He is stronger all the time. Why should he retire?"