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05-21-2013, 08:34 PM #1
[Football] Real Madrid part company with MourinhoReal Madrid have confirmed that manager Jose Mourinho will leave the club at the end of the season by mutual consent.
Speculation has been rife that the Portuguese manager would leave the Bernabeu and he has been heavily linked with a return to former club Chelsea, who are seeking a replacement for Rafael Benitez.
And during a press conference on Monday, Madrid president Florentino Perez revealed that the 50-year-old will leave the club after their final match of the season.
Perez said: "The time is right to bring our relationship to an end.
"The board of directors would like to thank Jose Mourinho for all his hard work. The team have improved in his three years and we wish him all the best."
Mourinho joined Real in 2010, after completing the treble with Inter in the 2009-10 season. He won his first trophy with the club in 2011, when they beat arch-rivals Barcelona 1-0 in the final of the Copa del Rey.
A year later he guided the club to a first La Liga title in four years, with Real reaching 100 points in the process.
Despite domestic success, though, Mourinho has fallen short in three attempts at winning the UEFA Champions League with the club, falling at the semi-finals each time, including this season's 4-3 aggregate defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Although Mourinho broke Barcelona's La Liga dominance in 2012, he has endured a testing relationship with some of the playing squad during his tenure, coming under particular criticism for overlooking goalkeeper Iker Casillas in favour of Diego Lopez.
On a possible return to the Premier League, Mourinho has previously stated: "I know I am loved in England, I am loved by the fans and the media.
"They treat me fairly. They give me credit when it is due and criticise when it is deserved.
"I am loved by some clubs, especially one. In Spain it is different, some people hate me."
Mourinho led Chelsea to two Premier League titles during his stint at the club, and also won two League Cups and an FA Cup.
Meanwhile, Perez also insisted that Madrid have no agreement in place with Mourinho's successor, although Carlo Ancelotti is widely expected to take charge at the Bernabeu.
The president admitted that an approach has been made to Paris-Saint Germain for the Italian coach, but that this request had been rejected by his counterpart in the French capital, Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
"I want to express my utmost respect for the PSG and their owner," Perez said.
"A few days ago, the club's director general spoke to PSG to see whether it was possible that he (Ancelotti) could come and they told us no.
"That is an issue that we will address tomorrow, we have a few days to think about it. There are several candidates."