The rumors have refused to go away. The Jose Mourinho to Manchester United links remain seductive click-baits designed to drive traffic to soccer blogs and website all over the internet universe.
However, even the most optimistic purveyor of this rumor must surely be tired with how trite this particular piece of gossip has become.
For Mourinho, it must surely be quite a humbling experience been out of job this long, a premium product left on the shelf of a Harrods store, barely getting glances of interest from window shopper and buyers alike.
Or has he become a piece of antiquity, a victim of his own over bloated ego, arrogance and self-importance?
Chelsea, the only club he has ever truly loved, the one he hoped to build a dynasty together with, has kicked him to the kerb, and for good measure a second and obviously last time.
It used to be where he’d hope for, a sanctuary he could always run to whenever the frothy bile that his rabble-rousing, divide and rule tactics boils over, its vile stench forcing him to beat a hasty retreat from.
Now, even that door has been slammed shut against him forever, leaving him naked in the cold. But while Chelsea represented the romantic, Manchester United represented the egoistic. He has always wanted to manage the Red Devils, the club with a rich and proud tradition, the club with global appeal, the club that Sir Alex Ferguson had managed spectacularly for a quarter of a century.
Manchester United was to be a vanity project, another eye-popping achievement in a quite astonishing CV. He wanted to be mentioned in the same breath as the great Scotsman, hell, maybe even compared to him.
If he were to write the script, he would have preferred to leave Madrid for Manchester United, win a few trophies there including the Champions League.
Then in his inimitable manner, jump ship, arriving Stamford Bridge in a blaze of glory to the happy cries of adoring Chelsea fans, who would see him as the long-awaited savior. And then they’d live happily ever after, with Mourinho retiring at the club.
Unfortunately reality didn’t have time to read his script so he ended up a tad earlier than he hoped at Chelsea, just about the time the curtains had fallen on Alex Ferguson’s managerial career.
When, barely 18 months into his second spell at Stamford Bridge he was sacked, he took it with blithe insouciance. And with Louis Van Gaal dragging Manchester United to new lows that even David Moyes couldn’t in all his inept glory, Mourinho was sure that the Ed Woodward led board would speedily dispense with the Dutchman, sending him to an early retirement.
His increasing agitation and frustration at the cold shoulder he was getting only made him to turn on the charm offensive more, flirting openly with rumors rife about his switch to Old Trafford.
Surely they should know that I’m available, he must have reasoned, as he paced pensively about his sitting room in London. But it seems Ed Woodward and co were not comfortable with the prospect of having the Portuguese in the Old Trafford dug-out. Well, this off course is my guess.
His persistent courting of controversy, while a favorite pastime of his, is in dissonance with the conservative ethos that the Manchester United brand embodies.
In addition, Mourinho remains a PR disaster waiting to happen, never mind his almost absolute guarantee of delivering trophies if hired, with the Eva Carneiro case a recent case in point.
In line with its family-friendly tradition, the Red devils favors a healthy image around it, devoid of the rancor and toxic bile that Mourinho is known to like.
Lastly and perhaps more damning is his disdain for blooding young players.
During his time at Chelsea especially, he rarely gave young players the opportunity to break into the first, choosing instead to spend fat sums to purchase ready-to-play, and premium talent from all over the globe.
The academy graduates were given large swathes of playing time during pre-season but were farmed out on loan once the season started proper.
In contrast, Manchester United’s academy has produced a number of famous graduates who have gone on to star for the club, most notable been; David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes with the likes of Marcus Rashford the latest to come off of the club’s conveyor belt of talent.
Perhaps that should not come as a surprise to note that Mourinho hardly lasts for 3 years at any club, fueling the belief that he won’t knuckle down to build a dynasty at the club if eventually hired.
Notwithstanding the tedium surrounding it, the Mourinho to Manchester United rumor is not one that would go away any time soon.