Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has become the hot favorite to succeed Quique Sanchez Flores at Valencia following the latter's dismissal on Monday, according to reports. Ironically, the move would bring the Portuguese tactician back to Stamford Bridge, as Valencia travels to London to play Chelsea in the Champions League on Dec. 11.
Valencia is certainly keen on the move, but it's unclear where Mourinho stands. Per his severance with Chelsea, the Portuguese manager is unable to coach in the Premiership until next season, but sources close to him have said that while he wants to return to club soccer, his preferred destination is either Italy or Germany, with Bayern Munich mentioned as one of his favorites (he's currently taking German lessons).
Moreover, many feel that Valencia, the fourth-place finisher in La Liga last year and currently fourth in the table again, would be a step down for the man who turned Chelsea into one of the world's biggest and most successful clubs. It's also unclear whether Valencia can afford him. According to the Times, the team is likely to offer something in the neighborhood of $7 million per year, far less than the $10.4 million he earned at Stamford Bridge. Of course, money might not be much of an issue for the self-styled "Special One", who was bought out of his former contract for $24 million. Meanwhile, Marcelo Lippi and Fabio Capello are the other A-list out-of-work coaches being linked with the Valencia job.