Champions League

Jose Mourinho hints Real Madrid exit

Jose Mourinho talks Real Madrid future after Champions League exit.
Jose Mourinho talks Real Madrid future after Champions League exit.
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Jose Mourinho has dropped the strongest hint yet that he may leave Real Madrid at the end of the season following their UEFA Champions League semifinal defeat against Borussia Dortmund.

Mourinho's future has been the subject of much speculation after a poor Primera Division campaign that sees them lie 11 points behind archrivals Barcelona with five games remaining.

The Portuguese has consistently skirted the question regarding his future, but when asked if he would remain in the Spanish capital for next season, he replied: "Maybe not."

He added on ITV1: "I don't know but I want to be where people love me to be."

Mourinho's comments will almost certainly put more than one Barclays Premier League club on alert. Manchester City and Chelsea have both been mooted as possible destinations in the past for Mourinho who managed the Blues from June 2004 until September 2007.

The 50-year-old left west London in acrimonious circumstances after a falling out with owner Roman Abramovich although Mourinho remains Chelsea's most successful manager with two Premier League titles and three domestic cup wins.

Mourinho admitted in his postgame press conference: "I know in England I'm loved. I'm loved by the fans, I'm loved by the media that treats me in a fair way, criticizing me but giving me credit when I deserve it. I know I'm loved by some clubs, especially one, and in Spain, the situation is a bit different because some people hate me. Many of you are in this room."

Mourinho, who has also managed at Porto and Inter Milan, added he will discuss his future at the end of the current campaign. Madrid take on city rivals Atletico in the Copa del Rey final next month and Mourinho is focusing on closing the season on a high.

"I didn't make a decision because I have a contract. But more than a contract, because in football contracts you break it when people want to break, is the respect I have for the club and the respect I have for the president," he said.

"That's why I want to play the final, I want to finish the season, I want to try to win the final, I want to try to finish second and at the end of the season I want to sit in front of Florentino Perez - my president, my friend - and decide the best for me.

"I like the club, I like the president, I need to be honest and fair and at the end of the season I speak."

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