Jose Mourinho braced for Chelsea axe
Jose looking to PSG or Inter if he's shown door at Stamford Bridge
Jose Mourinho's representatives are already investigating a move to Paris Saint-Germain or a return to Inter Milan if the beleaguered manager is sacked by Chelsea, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
Saturday's ugly 2-1 defeat at West Ham United - which resulted in Mourinho and Chelsea being hit with multiple charges by the Football Association yesterday - led the Stamford Bridge board to start preparing for the possibility of Mourinho's departure, although any decision could come down to the size of a severance deal as much as immediate results.
Sources say the manager's camp would insist on his recently signed four-year contract being paid in full, which could mean a figure of £30m plus.
Chelsea remain reluctant to do that, while the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, is still minded to give Mourinho more time.
It is also understood the Portuguese has not been given any ultimatum to avoid defeat at home to Liverpool on Saturday, but his representatives have still started to plan for life after Stamford Bridge in the event of the worst-case scenario.
With the rest of England and Spain's top clubs seen as off-limits, the Portuguese's first choice would be PSG.
Sources say there has already been contact between intermediaries of both.
The French champions have the resources to match any of Europe's super clubs and, while Mourinho himself has previously dismissed leagues outside the elite, PSG would give him the chance to become the second manager after Tomislav Ivic to win leagues in five different countries. Inter have also been broached as a possible destination, however, and that would take Mourinho back to the club where he is still loved for winning the 2009-10 treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League.
It is viewed as significant by those close to the manager that he recently gave an interview in which he said he would love to eventually go back to the San Siro.
Mourinho made identical noises about Chelsea when it became clear his time at Real was over in 2012-13.
Any move to PSG could also be complicated by the political intrigue surrounding another client of Mourinho's representatives Gestifude - namely Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the Ballon d'Or holder's future at Real again uncertain owing to dissatisfaction with the club hierarchy, Gestifude have been looking at trying to get Ronaldo to the French champions as a contingency plan, since they are one of the very few clubs who can afford him.
The player no longer has a good relationship with Mourinho, however, after their time together at the Bernabeu between 2010 and 2013.
In the meantime, if Mourinho is sacked by Chelsea, sources say he enjoys living in London so much he would be ready to stay and take a temporary punditry gig in the country.
Chelsea themselves have tentatively sounded out potential replacements such as Carlo Ancelotti, but Abramovich's long-term target Pep Guardiola is still not interested.
There is still a core - albeit a decreasing core - of players behind him, though, and that is said to include John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Diego Costa.
Mourinho was yesterday charged with misconduct by the FA following his half-time dismissal on Saturday.
Mourinho, who is appealing against a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban for comments made about officials following a loss to Southampton, faces further charges after being sent to the stands by referee Jonathan Moss.
However, any punishment for Saturday will not trigger the stadium ban as that relates to comments made to the media.
An FA statement read: "Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct in relation to his language and/or behaviour towards match officials in the dressing room area at half-time."
Silvino Louro, one of Mourinho's assistants, was sent to the stands after Nemanja Matic was sent off and has also been charged with misconduct.
Both the Hammers and the Blues have also been charged for failing to control their players in the aftermath of the challenge which led to Matic's dismissal.
All have until 6pm on Thursday to respond.