Manchester United: Mourinho must go to PSG to cement his legacy

With news breaking that Jose Mourinho's representatives held talks with PSG last month, Jon Mackenzie gives three reasons why the Portuguese manager must go to Paris.

Ever since Unai Emery failed to carry Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title last year, there has been a growing dissatisfaction on the terraces of the Parc des Princes. 

Whilst his failure to take the French club to the Champions League was viewed as forgivable – not least when you consider the manner of their elimination at the hands of Barcelona – their inability to overtake Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco at the end of the season was generally perceived as fatal.

It surprised very few people in the French capital, then, when news broke that the club had approached Jose Mourinho last month for talks about his defection from Manchester onto the more hospitable climes of the continent.

When questioned about these talks, Mourinho did very little to hide his admiration for the club. ‘At the moment in Paris there is something special,’ he said. ‘Magic, quality, youth, it’s fantastic.’

These comments, however, angered some of the Manchester United fan base, many of whom saw the move as a deferral of responsibility in light of the eight-point gap that opened out between United and their cross-city rivals at the Etihad.

It is easy to see, though, why the move might appeal to the Portuguese manager and Jon Mackenzie gives us three reasons why Mourinho might be tempted away to the French capital.

  1. 1 Mourinho is aware of his honours list

    When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer. Fortunately for the 54-year-old Jose Mourinho, the need for tears has not yet arrived. For despite his remarkable trophy cabinet, the Portuguese manager has not yet conquered France.

    Paris Saint-Germain offers a remarkable chance to do just that. Whilst it is perhaps unfair to consider the Paris club as unchallenged in the league now that Monaco have been broken up for spares and with the arrival of Neymar in France, Ligue 1 is clearly PSG's to take. 

    With this in mind, Jose Mourinho will consider the Champions League to be his sole prerogative and would likely stay at the club until he had achieved it. With the pressure ramping up in Manchester, a place about which Mourinho has voiced his complaints - often loudly - he may consider a spell in Paris to be everything as dreamy as the stories say.

  2. 2 Staying in Manchester could undo his hard work

    Say what you like about Manchester United, the hierarchy of the club is a nightmare. With Sir Alex Ferguson holding the reins across a period where the structures of football clubs changed immeasurably, the result is a labyrinthine mess - the vestigial remainder of a now-bygone age.

    With American owners who treat the club as a cash cow, an executive vice-chairman who came in knowing next to nothing about football and number of legends around the place who are always happy to throw in their two-pence-worth, the club is a veritable minefield for managers: especially when those managers are Jose Mourinho, himself a bit of a control freak.

    Add to this mix the fact that, as the result of a purple patch that ran for decades, the club's fans have high expectations and what you have is a potential disaster for Mourinho. 

    If he stays, it's not so much that he won't be able to achieve what it is that he still feels he has to achieve - it's that he could begin undoing the hard work that he has already achieved. 

    With PSG, despite the fact that they are effectively bank-rolled by an entire nation, Mourinho will feel as though there is a more straightforward line of command and, as a result, the expectations upon him may be more manageable.

  3. 3 PSG offer an easier route to success than Manchester United

    Of all the clubs to have never won a Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain are probably the biggest of the lot. The European competition is clearly something of a Holy Grail for Les Parisiens and the current owners obviously view the competition as their new-found raison d'etre.

    As far as Jose Mourinho will view it, the club offers two things, then: the possibility to become a legend and the probability of making it happen. With PSG almost guaranteed a place in the competition year in, year out, the squad of players at the manager's disposal make them favourites to go deep in the competition.

    With the arrival of Neymar to join a front three comprising of Edison Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, there are those who think that the biggest enemy for the team is now the team themselves. Having seen the spat between Neymar and Cavani played out across the pages and screens of the world media, it's easy to see why.

    Jose Mourinho, though, will fancy himself charismatic enough to off-set the egos of these two footballers. And if, as Zinedine Zidane managed with the reformulated Galacticos of Real Madrid, he can balance these fragile talents off one another, the Champions League could be theirs for the taking. 

    Taking the Champions League trophy to Paris, Jose Mourinho would go down in the annals of PSG history as a legend. And this is why he must leave Manchester United. For the fact of the matter is, if he stays at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho will only ever remain in the limelight of Sir Alex Ferguson. But at Paris Saint-Germain, Jose Mourinho could become the next Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Jon Mackenzie

Jon Mackenzie is the Football Editor at RealSport.

Regularly appearing on talkSPORT radio, his work has also featured in The Economist, The Blizzard, Tifo Football and on the Futbolgrad Network.

A UEFA and Premier League-accredited journalist, Jon also founded A Team of John O'Sheas podcast and hosts it every week.

Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Mackenzie