In Depth

Mourinho Chelsea return is on after failure at Real Madrid

Madrid confirm Special One's departure, but dignified exit does not reflect troubled reign

JOSE MOURINHO'S return to Chelsea appears to be a formality after his current employers, Real Madrid, confirmed that the Portuguese coach would leave the club at the end of the season after a three-year reign at the Bernabeu.

Both parties agreed to cut short Mourinho's six-year deal with Real, and club president Florentino Perez has agreed to waive the £12m compensation clause in his contract.

"No one has been sacked, no one has quit, it was a mutual agreement," said Perez. "It's not an ideal situation but after three years we both agree that it was the right time to end the relationship."

The diplomatically-worded end to Mourinho's Real Madrid career contrasts with what the Daily Mail called a "troubled and chaotic three-year stint at the Bernabeu".

The Guardian stated that Mourinho's position had become "untenable" and he had been preparing for a Chelsea return for weeks. He has even contacted possible signings, said the paper. "Nothing now stands in the way of Chelsea and Mourinho formalising an agreement that was reached in principle months ago."

According to The Times, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has had "intermediaries working on a possible deal for several months, but last night’s announcement moves him closer to a dramatic return to Stamford Bridge".

However, the deal is not yet done and the paper said there were "still obstacles to overcome". One of them concerns "areas of responsibility" at Chelsea, an issue that affected Mourinho's relationship with Abramovich during his last stint in London. Mourinho likes to have total control over team affairs, but that is not thought to be an option at Stamford Bridge.

Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be eager to hire him as their head coach.

The Daily Telegraph described his reign at Real Madrid as "underwhelming" and noted it has ended with the dressing-room in revolt.

However, the players' dissatisfaction would have been forgotten had he landed the ultimate prize, the UEFA Champions League. "The really uncomfortable truth for Mourinho is that he failed in the transfer market. Despite Madrid's financial muscle, he could not build a team to conquer Europe," said the paper.

His reputation has also suffered while in Spain.The Mail said Chelsea were the only English club willing to take a chance on him, after Manchester City decided he was "too vulgar" for the Etihad.

Mail columnist Adrian Durham claimed Mourinho was no longer the Special One, and would return to Stamford Bridge with a "shattered ego" after a "reality check" in Spain. "He's going back to Chelsea to be stroked and cuddled.This man is mortal, and he now knows it. "

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