Amid all the talk and speculation over Jose Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea and where he will end up next, we have heard about the possibilities of him going to Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and England.
But one name that hasn’t been mentioned is that of West Ham United. When you have got back up from the floor from laughing and composed yourself, let me say that I know there are reasons for that, but theirs would not be out of place among all the other names being bandied around.
It has come to the attention that, as expected, Mourinho wants himself and his family to stay in London. If Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain interest the Portuguese, he can reach both cities within a couple of hours or more from England’s capital.
And with Zlatan Ibrahimovic looking to leave the latter at the end of this season, the Swede’s great respect for Mourinho could well help persuade the striker to stay in the City of Love. Although, with the side doing exceptionally well this season under Laurent Blanc, it looks unlikely to happen.
But if Mourinho really, really wants to live in London then City, United and the French champions would obviously not be the ideal clubs to join.
Not moving to the areas where they reside would demonstrate a lack of firm commitment, and despite Mourinho’s stellar standing in the game, his recent struggles mean he has lost a little bit of the clout attached to his name that would help support any decision he made without the questioning from the club’s hierarchy.
When you look at the list of Mourinho’s clubs from Porto onwards – Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid – West Ham do not fall into the same category; they’re big, but they are in the middle rung of the ladder of football.
However, that could soon change when The Hammers make the Olympic Stadium their home. It would take a few years of course – they’re not going to suddenly transform into champions the moment they step out onto their new pitch (although with Mourinho at the helm who knows!) – but there is no doubt that the east London club have a very realistic chance of being the new gatecrashers of the top four party in the next few years.
There is, of course, the issue of Slaven Bilic being the current boss, a man who the majority of West Ham fans love, both as a former player and for the results he has gathered so far this campaign. But we cannot hide from the fact that Bilic was not the club’s first choice to take over. Hell, he was not even second or third choice!
Supporters may find his football easier on the eye than that of former boss Sam Allardyce but form has dipped, which has seen The Hammers win just one of their last nine games, picking up nine points in the process. That’s almost relegation form.
We have seen what has happened to Manchester City since their move into the City of Manchester Stadium and how that helped boost their profile around the world. Make no mistake about it, West Ham will be a very attractive proposition for a would-be investor – they have a rich history and will be based in an up and coming area of the capital city that is lucrative for business.
It would be these aspects and maybe the temptation of a different challenge, plus the fact that he wants to stay in London, that could see Mourinho as West Ham manager come August next year. It really is not that mad a thought.
It’s unlikely, but no more unlikely than saying at the start of the season that Leicester would be top of the table and Chelsea would be three points off the drop zone come Christmas. Ravanelli joining Middlesbrough at his peak soon after winning the Champions League, Keegan to Southampton…football’s full of surprises.