Jose Mourinho being sacked by Chelsea didn't really come as a surprise to anyone.
It was more of a question of when rather than if, and the timing of just before the January transfer window makes a lot of sense.
It allows Guus Hiddink time to come in, take stock, and perhaps still have a couple of weeks in the window where he can assess what he does and doesn't need to ensure that Chelsea move back up the table.
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Three points above the relegation zone is preposterous when you consider just how easily much the same group of players won the Premier League last season.
Not playing for their manager perhaps?
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In any event, the Portuguese is now yesterday's man in west London and will now be looking to pastures new.
Although there are no positions seemingly available at the top end of the market at the moment, there is a sense that Mourinho will interest just about any club despite the baggage that he brings with him.
At both Chelsea and Real Madrid now, he has brought a hugely divisive presence to the dressing room.
There's little doubt he gets results but often at the expense of harmony behind the scenes.
Perhaps an oft-stated desire of the Special One - to manage his country - would be something that would again interest him, and a six-month sabbatical before taking the position after Euro 2016 would certainly suit him.
He is still revered in his homeland and the appointment, should it happen, would be a popular one.
If he were to decide that club management is still his preference, then the likelihood of Manchester United being interested is high.
Louis van Gaal hasn't had quite the impact expected and a break at the end of the current season would appear to be a logical step at this point in time.
A link to Real Madrid is the most surprising given the rancour with which the Portuguese departed the Santiago Bernabeu.
Yet former Real president Ramon Calderon is in no doubt.
Joe Wright of Goal.com noted:
Mou is closer to Madrid. Only a few things to sort out and he'll be here.
Without a doubt the best news for [Florentino] Perez in the most difficult situation he has had as president. I couldn't find a better shield.
If Los Blancos are unable to beat Gary Neville's Valencia at the start of the new year, there is apparently every chance that Florentino Perez will wield the axe again and bring back Jose.
That move in turn could alienate a number of the senior players, in particular Cristiano Ronaldo.
It would surely mean an acceleration in Ronaldo's move elsewhere with Pepe another to swiftly follow him out of the door.
Given how poorly Madrid have fared over the first half of the present campaign, can Perez really take the risk of upsetting the apple cart even further?
Do you think Mourinho would ever be offered the chance to go back to Real Madrid? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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