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Perez: Mourinho could return

Following months of speculation and rumour it appears Jose Mourinho is finally on his way back to Stamford Bridge

Florentino Perez says that Jose Mourinho could return to Real Madrid some day as the two men remain good friends.

• Blog: No tearful farewell for Jose

The former Inter Milan boss has confirmed he will be named Chelsea manager by the end of the week after Perez had outlined his future on Sunday.

Mourinho's final game of his current spell as Madrid boss - the 4-2 win over Osasuna on Saturday - replayed many of the controversies which have dogged the Portuguese's three years at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Many fans whistled his name before the game, big name players including club captain Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos were left out, and there was bitterness with journalists right till the end.

However, the Blancos president, who was confirmed on Sunday for another four-year term in charge, told Sunday's ABC that he thought Mourinho was sad to be leaving and could be back in the future.

"The door is not closed for Mourinho," he said. "He is going with sadness, with a difficult understanding of how the media are here. With sorrow, I believe. It is not easy to live with this pressure, which has sometimes been unjust, with a personal side.

"In the end we reached a conclusion, after three years that the best for him and the club was to separate, but to remain good friends. Life is very long and you never know what can happen."

Asked what qualities a new coach - rumoured to be either current Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti or outgoing Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes - would need, Perez said that the ability to work with a dressing-room full of star players was most important.

"A coach with experience is [now] required, with motivation, who knows how to manage a difficult squad, where everyone is a great player," he said. "It is difficult to deal with 25 players. One of the virtues we saw in Mourinho was this personality, his intensity and demands. They were two values which seemed appropriate to us."

Pressed on whether former Chelsea and AC Milan manager Ancelotti was his preferred choice, Perez played a straight bat.

"Ancelotti is a magnificent coach," he said. "But he has a contract with a club which we respect."

The Spanish construction millionaire, whose changing of Madrid's club statutes to make it more difficult for potential presidential candidates to emerge has been criticised in Spain, said he was against the foreign ownership of clubs as that had damaged the game.

"There is a damaging effect in football, and UEFA is working to stop it," he said. "That is what we all Financial Fair-Play, that you only spend what you bring in. Not that someone comes from outside. Many people have come into English football, to France, who have disturbed the normal balance a bit."


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