Jose Mourinho has refused to rule out the prospect of a return to management in Serie further down the line, expressing a love for the way football is played in Italy.
The Portuguese enjoyed the zenith of his career with Inter Milan, winning an historic treble in 2010 and defeating both Pep Guardiola and Louis van Gaal on route to winning the Champions League for the second time in his career.
He ended last season without a trophy, leaving supporters disillusioned with the football seen under his watch, and will almost certainly be shown the exit door if another season goes by without silverware.
And Mourinho, when asked about Italy, was unable to hide his admiration for the country’s football culture, hoping Champions League football would bring him to its shores in September.
“My return to Italy? Maybe I will be back already in September to play in the Champions League, maybe in the group stage against Juventus or against Inter,” he said.
“We will see. But I do love to play in Italy and would like to come back in September to play in the Champions League.”
I have always thought Mourinho to be a kind of de facto Italian in many ways.
His football, for one, is pure calico: committed firstly to a strong defence, a firm spine running through the team, laying a platform for a sense of control further up the pitch. Game management is something the Italians have mastered and Mourinho views it with upmost importance. Positional intelligence, responsibility on the pitch, an intangible risolvere la partita attitude. These are all implicit to how Mourinho wants his players to perform.
The 55-year-old may not be in this current job for much longer. Perhaps his next move would be to a country whose footballing principles better align with his own.