The writing has been on the wall for some time for Mourinho, who has missed out on a trophy in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey this term.
Mourinho, sent off along with Cristiano Ronaldo during the club’s 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final this weekend, would then be free to complete a dramatic return to Chelsea should he be sacked.
But the paper adds that club president Florentino Perez is still hoping for compensation from the Blues for Mourinho, so their handling of his departure will have to be carefully considered.
Carlo Ancelotti appears increasingly likely to be in charge at the Bernabeu – with Paris Saint-Germain confirming last week that they had already rejected an approach for their manager, Ancelotti was quoted at the Ligue 1 awards in France as saying he had asked to leave the club.
In another trans-continental shuffle, the outgoing Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez could soon be unveiled as Napoli’s new man.
Walter Mazzarri has confirmed he will be leaving the club despite finishing second in Serie A, and according to a reports in Italy, the chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis has been in London to convince Benitez to join his club.
What is certain, however, is that the managerial merry-go-round this year could be not only one of the liveliest in history, but it could also shape a remarkable summer of spending.
But as Arsenal and Tottenham (who will both be keeping their bosses) prove, achieving or missing Champions League qualification is a trigger to big spending.
Arsene Wenger is quoted in the Mail on his spending plans: “We want additions but we want to keep the structure and spirit and quality of the team. But let’s not forget there are many clubs with big money and maybe not enough talent to strengthen all the teams. But we will go out in a proactive way.”
In the Daily Mirror, meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas says: “I said before this game that whether we made it into the Champions League or not we would have to raise the bar again because our competitors will do the same.
“We got ever so close. But they will do their job in window, and we will do ours the Tottenham way, scouting properly and looking for good grabs in summer window to make it a stronger squad.”
The same report names AVB’s key targets as strikers David Villa and Christian Benteke – although the latter is already discussing a new contract with Aston Villa, according to local paper Birmingham Mail.
The Sun, meanwhile, suggests that Spurs will rekindle their interest in Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho, a man who would surely have arrived at White Hart Lane last season but for late paperwork on deadline day.
The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, claim that Carlos Tevez is set for Serie A – Juventus are keen to add the Argentine to their strikeforce, having already confirmed the arrival of Fernando Llorente on a free transfer this summer. But if Tevez proves difficult to prise away, Gonzalo Higuain is also a possibility.
And Peter Odemwingie could yet be a Premier League player next season, the same paper adds. Despite failing to move to now-relegated QPR in January, and being marginalised at current club West Bromwich Albion, the striker is interesting top flight new boys Hull, who would be prepared to spend up to £3m on him.
- Sports & Recreation
- Carlo Ancelotti
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- La Liga
- Copa del Rey
- Atletico Madrid
- Rafael Benitez