With another international break now upon us, plenty of clubs are thinking about sacking their managers, if they haven’t already.
The small break in football provides a perfect opportunity for clubs to take stock of the situation and decide whether a change is needed on the touchline.
Two such clubs are Everton and Tottenham. Marco Silva and Mauricio Pochettino find themselves under increasing pressure after disappointing starts to the season have fans and pundits alike suggesting change is perhaps necessary.
That’s yet to happen, yet José Mourinho appears to be lining himself up as the candidate for both clubs.
The Portuguese manager has been out of work since leaving Manchester United last December but has not been idly sitting by waiting for a new job to arrive.
Mourinho has been putting himself about as much as possible, with appearances on several different TV shows used to promote the brand and ensure his is a name chairmen haven’t forgotten about.
This week that came to fruition as it was reported by RMC Sport that Mourinho had been offered the job at Lyon, following the sacking of Sylvinho.
He, though, turned down the chance after a call with Jean-Michel Aulas, with the newspaper claiming that Mourinho was eyeing up a return to England.
That’s been followed today by Aulas confirming in a conference call, which Daily Mercato have covered, that Mourinho ‘has already chosen another club’.
So, Mourinho wants to return to England and has already picked out his new club, which suggests he may be back in the Premier League sooner rather than later. And if that is the case, then Everton and Tottenham standout as options.
Everton would undoubtedly take him. They’re less than enamoured with Marco Silva these days, with the former Watford boss struggling to replicate the form they showed under him at the end of last season.
There have been calls from some fans for them to hire a big-name manager who can win the trophies the Toffees are craving, and he would certainly bring that.
He’d also be the kind of appointment that would make people stand up, notice the club and would fulfil Farhad Moshiri’s longstanding desire to hire a standout manager (remember those Diego Simeone rumours?).
However, it’s also an appointment that raises plenty of questions, particularly over what direction the Blues would be heading in with a manager that doesn’t fit.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are the club many thinks Mourinho wants but it’s one that seems unlikely to happen.
He’d be able to bring the winning pedigree they crave, but they’re not a club who would be happy to spend the money he demands from all his teams.
Likewise, he’s a manager known for preferring older players over younger ones, and that’s the complete opposite route that Spurs want to head down long-term.
Anyway, it’s unlikely Daniel Levy, a man renowned for saving wherever possible, would be willing to pay to not only get rid of Mauricio Pochettino but then spend further millions on hiring Mourinho. It simply doesn’t make any sense from a financial point of view.
It’s an interesting situation. Perhaps Spurs or Everton will throw caution to the wind and hire Mourinho anyway.
Or perhaps he’s going somewhere else, pitching himself up at Southampton or returning to Manchester United in a move that nobody would see coming.
The more likely answer is that Mourinho, a man with a history of manipulating the media to his own ends, is simply playing everyone and has dragged Aulas into the game too.
Only time will tell.