2019-01-08 by W.M.
‘Money Is No Issue’ in Jose Mourinho Pursuit, Says Benfica President | Bleacher Report
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Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira has hinted that he wants Jose Mourinho to take over as manager at his club following the departure of Rui Vitoria.
Vitoria left his position last week following a shock 2-0 defeat to Portimonense which saw Benfica drop seven points behind Primeira Liga leaders Porto.
Reserve coach Bruno Lage was installed as caretaker manager, and Vieira said he has not yet spoken to Mourinho about the job. But he made it clear he would like the former Manchester United boss back at Benfica following his Old Trafford sacking last month, per SIC (h/t Goal’s Sacha Pisani):
“For now, Bruno Lage is the coach of Benfica. I am [Mourinho’s] friend. Who would not like to have Mourinho? [But] I have not talked to him. If he says yes tomorrow, he’ll be here at the drop of a hat. Money is no issue for Benfica.”
Mourinho, 55, cut his teeth as a manager at Benfica back in 2000. He stayed only three months in the job, leaving the post after a change in president.
He went on to win back-to-back league titles with rivals Porto, as well as the 2003-04 UEFA Champions League, before establishing himself as arguably the world’s best manager at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
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His reputation has taken something of a hit recently, though, during his two-and-a-half-year spell at Manchester United.
Mourinho won the UEFA Europa League and League Cup while in charge at Old Trafford, but he never got close to challenging for the Premier League and implemented a tedious brand of football at the club.
As such, there is no guarantee that Europe’s biggest clubs will be interested in hiring him anymore.
A return to Real Madrid has been mooted given their current struggles in La Liga.
But Mourinho may welcome the opportunity to go back and manage in his native Portugal, where the spotlight is less intense and he could rebuild his reputation.
It has been over 14 years since he worked in his homeland, and Vieira and Benfica could offer him his chance to return.