Jose Mourinho is starting to move on from the idea of managing Manchester United as it becomes growingly clear that Louis van Gaal will be given time to turn things around at Old Trafford.
It appeared as if the Special One would walk straight back into a Premier League job after his dismissal from Chelsea last month, with Ed Woodward reportedly ready to dismiss Van Gaal after an eight-match winless run.
The Manchester United job has been a longstanding ambition for the Portuguese coach, but, according to ESPN, his dream will have to be shelved for the foreseeable future as he seeks an immediate return to management.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
His camp are said to be "frustrated" with Manchester United, with several club officials believed to have given Mourinho encouragement over an imminent vacancy.
That, as it turned out, is not the case. Woodward has dug his heels in with regards Van Gaal, ignoring pressure to switch managers despite a series of uninspiring performances.
Serving up a surprise
A return to Real Madrid had also looked possible following Rafa Benitez's departure and it is believed that contact between the Spanish club and Mourinho was made. However, a second stint at the Bernabeu was fraught with complications and Zinedine Zidane eventually got the gig.
As a result, Mourinho is now said to be looking at other options and could well serve up a big surprise by taking a job outside of Europe's elite tier. It was always assumed Mourinho would wait for a big job, but the chance to prove his managerial skills at a midlevel club would certainly be an interesting proposition.
Repairing the damage
Indeed, Mourinho has faced criticism for only succeeding when given a sizeable budget to do so and it was noted that things at Chelsea turned sour when Roman Abramovich refused to invest heavily in transfer fees.
But Mourinho doesn't appear to be afraid of accepting a job where budgets are smaller and honours are not expected.