Can José Mourinho at Barcelona become a reality?

Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal, left, and assistant Jose Mourinho, centre (Photo by Jon Buckle - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal, left, and assistant Jose Mourinho, centre (Photo by Jon Buckle - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images) /

Will José Mourinho return to the place where he was made?

José Mourinho is what he is today because of the time he spent at Barcelona, working under two greats of the game, Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal. The Portuguese coach has earlier expressed interest in returning, but it has never gone through. But at the end of the season, it can.

After winning the EFL Cup, the Community Shield and the Europa League in his tenure as manager of Manchester United, Mourinho was recently sacked for a string of poor results after the worst start to a season in the history of the Red Devils.

Mourinho has been linked to Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. All of these clubs are performing poorly now, unlike Barcelona. But José Mourinho usually tends to wait till the end of the season before taking a new job, and Ernesto Valverde’s contract is due to expire.

Of course, Barcelona are well on track to win the treble at the end of the season, with a three-point lead at the top of the La Liga table, a relatively easy opponent in Lyon in the Champions League round of 16 and a historically good record in the Copa del Rey.

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If Barça fail to live to the pre-season expectation of a treble, Valverde is certainly not getting a new contract. But even if the Catalans win the treble, Josep Maria Bartomeu might want a change in the surroundings at the Camp Nou, for a more assertive manager.

In that case, José Mourinho could be called up. He would demand an extravagant salary, but every penny spent on the Portuguese great would be worth it. His conservative style of play would fit the tiki-taka philosophy like a glove, where the side could retain possession for a long time.

It would be very surprising to see him in a dugout occupied by his arch-nemesis, Pep Guardiola. But it is hard to find a manager who Mourinho does not have a problem with. Regardless, José Mourinho has the ability to make history at Barça.

The two-time Champions League winner would certainly have a feud with Atlético head coach Diego Simeone and it would be very entertaining to watch. But most importantly, he could get the absolute best out of Leo Messi, along with Ousmane Dembélé and Philippe Coutinho.

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Ernesto Valverde is still a very good head coach. He is not perfect, in any sense, and can make fatal misreadings of matches at times. But he is reliable, and has proven to be very consistent till date. But the prospect of José Mourinho at Barcelona is certainly an interesting one.