Jose Mourinho return to Chelsea: Manager playing game of who will blink first over pay-off with Real Madrid

Real coach criticises Pepe, Iniesta and Casillas after buying bubble wrap in Ikea

Madrid

"After you." "No, after you." "No, I insist, after you." This is the merry dance which Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho are leading each other as both try to engineer an exit strategy that will not cost them money.

If the Chelsea-bound Mourinho walks out on his contract – which has three years to run – he is due, under the terms of a contract extension agreed a year ago, to pay £10m to Real. Also under that agreement, if the club sack their coach, they must pay him £10m. Real president, Florentino Perez, is also under pressure to recoup some of the estimated €18m (£15.2m) they paid when they signed Mourinho from Internazionale.

Each wants rid of the other but neither wants to pay. The most likely outcome is a compromise where the club will receive an amount below £10m.

Any amount Mourinho would be due to pay would normally be met by Chelsea in compensation for him joining. However, the club owner, Roman Abramovich, is unwilling to shell out for the coach he sacked at the cost of £18m in 2007. So any amount owed by Mourinho might have to be paid by him, perhaps in reduced contract terms. But there is a fair bit more dancing to be done yet, and today it was Mourinho doing the leading, well aware of what he might escape paying when he joins Chelsea.

"I have considered staying," he said when asked if he had planned to leave. "I will earn a salary until the final day I work for Real Madrid but I don't want a single euro more."

In a poll of over 23,000 Madrid fans, 88 per cent said they believed Mourinho wanted Real Madrid to fire him. That would certainly be one way out, although he would prefer to win the Spanish Cup on 17 May first and then go into his end-of-season meeting with Perez knowing his president is in a corner, with too many directors, players and supporters wanting the coach gone.

Several of Mourinho's coaching staff are understood to have served notice on rented properties, and on Monday Mourinho went to his local Ikea store to buy €200 worth of packing boxes, bubble wrap and sticky tape.

Today it was more Iker than Ikea as he was again asked about making goalkeeper Casillas second choice. "I like Diego Lopez as a goalkeeper more than Casillas, simples [sic]," he said.

"Iker is a phenomenal shot-stopper but I like a keeper who can play with his feet, who comes for crosses and dominates." Pepe and Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, who have recently chipped into the Casillas debate, were next in Mourinho's firing line.

"I think it is fine that [Iniesta] gives his opinion but he should be thinking about his own team and why they have problems when they don't have Leo Messi," said Mourinho.

Real Madrid defender Pepe said the coach should show Casillas "more respect". "It is my job to pick the team," said Mourinho, "and I don't do it by flipping a coin." And as if to ram home the point he dropped Pepe for tonight's game with Malaga.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers