Jose Mourinho has been made the bookies' favourite to become the next manager of Manchester United.
The Portuguese, sacked by Chelsea on Thursday afternoon, has long had a soft spot for United and wanted to take over from Sir Alex Ferguson retired from Old Trafford in 2013.
Mourinho is heavily favoured with both BetVictor (11/10) and Paddy Power (6/5), the only two bookies who are currently offering odds.
The next men in the frame for the job are Pep Guardiola and Gary Neville (shortest odds at 3/1) and Carlo Ancelotti (shortest odds 4/1).
United considered Mourinho, who eventually returned to Chelsea, but instead pointed David Moyes who lasted a disastrous nine months in charge. United are said to have been worried that the Portuguese is 'too difficult to control'.
Mourinho is said to have cried when he found out he wouldn't get the job.
Ferguson, who has tried to distance himself from being the man who chose David Moyes as his successor, said Roman Abramovich would be foolish to sack Mourinho in the middle of the season, calling him "one of the best coaches of all time".
"I think he has sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I am sure he has learned by it. [Abramovich] has to trust and have confidence José can turn it around, there is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time," said Ferguson on 7 December.
"[Mourinho] has won the European Cup twice, he’s won the league in each country he’s managed in, he’s won the big trophies. It would be foolish for him to take that step to sacking him. That would be bad management; it is not leadership, that."
Current boss Louis van Gaal has been in charge of the club since the summer of 2014 and led the club back to the Champions League last season.
However, the Dutchman has spent almost £300million during his time at the club, with no huge improvements in the way they play. The club crashed out of the Champions League at the group stages last week, into the Europa League, while Van Gaal has received strong criticism for the way the team plays.
The Red Devils have scored just three goals in the last six matches at Old Trafford and 21 in 16 Premier League matches this season - Leicester City have scored 34.
It may not seem as far-fetched as one might imagine.
THE OTHER OPTIONS
Ambitious Paris St Germain look on course for their fourth successive domestic title in France, where Laurent Blanc has guided his men to a 17-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1. However, success in the Champions League has so far proved beyond them. Mourinho could be the missing piece in the puzzle and he may be enticed by the Parisians' spending power.
This European powerhouse could soon have a managerial vacancy if Pep Guardiola elects to venture to England after this season. Like PSG, Bayern have a stronghold on their domestic title in Germany and are another club who have aspirations of winning the Champions League in a country where the much-travelled Mourinho is yet to manage. However, Carlo Ancelotti has already agreed a move in principle.
The Portuguese's bridges might have previously been burned in the Spanish capital, but he was at the helm when they secured their last La Liga title in 2012. Madrid are famed for dispensing of coaches and, if they lag behind Barcelona for another campaign, it would not be a huge shock to see them turn to Mourinho once more to try and wrestle back control.
One place where Mourinho is still held in high regard is at Inter. There was an outpouring of emotion from fans and players alike when he departed after winning the treble in 2010. Maybe a return to Chelsea has put him off going back to another club where he enjoyed great success, or perhaps the lure of an adoring fanbase could drag him in. Roberto Mancini has things under control at the minute, though.
The Middle East or MLS
Would Mourinho explore relatively new frontiers in the world of football? The salaries on offer and the chance to rebuild may be appealing, but it may be too soon for him to accept such an offer.
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