A return to Chelsea or a venture into the unknown at Manchester United?

Jose Mourinho Double

Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea - Will Jose Mourinho have his pick in the summer?

The Real Madrid manager looks increasingly likely to leave Spain at the end of the season, and there may be a battalion of top Premier League clubs looking to sign him up.

For various reasons, there is a chance that all of the top four English clubs will be looking for a manager in the summer. No-one is going to sack Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, or Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, but both of the great stalwarts of the Premier League have given indications they might want to call it day.

Ferguson seems to be keen to get one over Manchester City one last time before retirement, and if he achieves that this season he may retire rather than try and once again rebuild a United side that has clear flaws at the back and in midfield. For his part, Wenger is under incredible pressure at Arsenal, with many fans calling for him to leave due to their poor league form, and he may decide that it's time to move on.

Manchester City are in an odd situation, with a manager who has brought them on-going league success but failing in Europe for the second season in a row. However, if Mancini cannot bring domestic success this season, then it’s likely he'll be leaving in the summer. Chelsea are the one club of the four who will almost certainly be in the market for a new manager, with Benitez currently unlikely to even last long.

So there's a small chance that there will be four premium jobs available in the Premier League, and there is one particular premium manager who might just end up at any one of them. Jose Mourinho is perhaps better received in England than anywhere else in Europe, with fans enjoying his confrontational press conferences and snarky humour. The Real Madrid manager is increasingly certain to be leaving his current club in the summer, with Real floundering in the league, relationships souring with the club's board, and Mourinho not someone who stops in one job for too long anyway.

Chelsea fans would certainly be keen to have him back, with their affection for Mourinho demonstrated by the ire they continue to show Rafa Benitez, Mourinho's main antagonist during his spell in London. Ferguson himself has said that Mourinho could be successful at Old Trafford, and it's certain that Manchester United will need a big name like the Portuguese to replace Ferguson if he does retire.

Manchester City will be desperate to secure the top manager available as they look to build the club into a European force. Arsenal is perhaps a less likely destination, with Mourinho's brash win at all costs style not entirely in keeping with the club, but perhaps a complete change from the Wenger regime is what the fans will demand if they fail to turn the season around.

Mourinho himself will no doubt do everything he can to stir up interest and flirt with any top job that could be available in England, and it will be difficult to know what move he would actually favour. One thing plenty of people will be betting on though, is that Mourinho will be back in England for the start of next season.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © http://www.flickr.com/photos/dphuonq/

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