Special One ends will-he won't-he saga

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The Independent Football

In ruling himself out of the running for the England job last night, Jose Mourinho brought to an end almost three weeks of constant speculation. The "Special One" quickly became one of the front-runners to succeed Steve McClaren following the sacking of the "wally with a brolly" 19 days ago. Initial reports, however, seemed to rule him out of the running, with the former Chelsea manager said to prefer the day-to-day involvement of club management to the year of friendlies that would come with the England position. As the days progressed, however, the odds shortened.

"No, no, I know nothing," Mourinho told reporters on the doorstep of his Portugal home, when probed as to whether he had been contacted about the job. "It's a pity [England are out]," he said, refusing to rule himself in or out. "But there are lots of good managers around the world."

Only last week his advisor, Eladio Parames, claimed Mourinho would be "honoured" to take the position. "He's not waving his hands in the air," Parames said. "But if he's approached, he'll reply."

His former players also came out in support of his candidature, including John Terry, who he fell out with towards the end of his Stamford Bridge reign. "[Jose] is one that really stands out for me," the England captain said. "Now it is down to the FA to contact him if they want to speak to him."