Jose refuses to commit

Mourinho coy on long-term Real future

January 21, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has refused to commit his future to the club beyond the end of the current season, fuelling speculation that he is considering quitting the Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho Real MAdrid
GettyImagesJose Mourinho refused to be drawn on his Real Madrid future past the end of this season

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There have been widespread reports in recent days that Mourinho want to leave Real at the end of the season following a massive fall-out with the club's sporting director Jorge Valdano.

The allegations were vehemently denied by Valdano on Thursday but after Real beat city rivals Atletico in the Copa del Rey to progress to the semi-finals, Mourinho was coy on his long-term future and suggested he would review his situation at the end of the season.

"The world is full of rumours, but they're not all true,'' Mourinho said. "Regarding my future, we'll see what happens at the end of the season.

"Contracts aren't the most important thing in football. If all the parties are happy at the end of a campaign, they remain together. If they aren't, they don't.''

Before the match, Valdano had moved to quash reports of a rift when saying: "There are no problems between Mourinho and I. He is our coach, the man who must lead us to triumph, and the team is proving to be very competitive under him.

"It's all about being better each season and we are better now than we were in the previous campaign. We expect to keep this up.''

But the Portuguese manager's latest comments have added fiurther fuel to the rumours that he will leave Real after just one season in the hotseat, with some corners of the Italian and Spanish press suggesting that he could make a sensational return to Inter Milan.

Mourinho has been keen to bring in an extra striker as cover for the injured Gonzalo Higuain, but so far the club hierarchy have resisted entering the January transfer market.

One set of fans who would seem to be happy to see Mourinho go are the Atletico fans, who barracked him throughout Thursday's games, with chants that included "Mourinho die''.

But the former Chelsea coach insisted the abuse from Atletico supporters this did not bother him.

"I have no problems with the crowd's chants against me,'' he said. "Atletico have a great fan base. They packed the stadium despite the 3-1 score of the first leg and the cold weather.

"They hoped to see an intense match and they nevertheless stayed until the end after (Cristiano) Ronaldo's goal. They are a fantastic crowd that deserves all my respect.''