With doubts still surrounding Andrea Stramaccioni's future at Inter, speculation continues to suggest that there may well be a return to the Nerazzurri hot seat for former boss Jose Mourinho. However, with conflicting media reports revealing he would be open to a move, just how likely is it that the Portuguese tactician will make a comeback at the San Siro?
It would appear his immediate future lies elsewhere, as the "Special One" has repeatedly revealed his desire to return to England and resume his managerial career in the Premier League. Speaking after Real Madrid's win over Galatasaray in the Champions League quarter-finals, he did, however, leave the door open to Inter further down the line.
"I want to go back to Inter at some stage, but not next season. That is not a lie, that is my heart talking. I repeat, I want to go back to Inter, like I want to go back to England, but it won't be next season. My next club will certainly not be Inter," he told the media, as reported by Football-Italia.net.
Mourinho wrote his name into Nerazzurri folklore during his stint at the club, leading them to an historic treble in 2010, as they became the first Italian club to ever complete such a feat. However, they have been on somewhat of a downward spiral in recent times, with sections of the supporters calling for his return.
The future is still uncertain for Inter, as they continue to battle for a place in Europe next season. With the third and final spot for the Champions League seemingly out of their grasp with Milan and Fiorentina extending their lead over the weekend, the Europa League could be deemed as a minimum requirement.
Club owner Massimo Moratti has shown faith in current boss Stramaccioni despite a dismal run of form, although the under-fire coach has had to come out publicly as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport to dismiss speculation that the outcome of their Coppa Italia run could seal his fate.
However, should the 37-year-old leave this summer, it is fairly certain that Mourinho will not be replacing him. The club showed positive signs earlier this season as they mounted what appeared to be a genuine title bid having ended bitter rivals Juventus' unbeaten streak.
Results and injuries have conspired against them in recent weeks, as well as the officials, according to those within the club. It has all combined to destabilize what had been the foundations of a promising future with strategies being adopted to reinvent the club with a youthful crop of players.
While it is easy to forget that early-season promise, it arguably showed enough to suggest that Mourinho doesn't necessarily have to be the answer.
"I'll bring the season to a close in the best way possible and then the President will decide whether to stick with me or go for another Coach," Stramaccioni told reporters on the eve of the clash with Roma. Various improvements must be made to the squad in the summer, and whatever happens to Strama, it won't be Mourinho who oversees them.
He may not be returning any time soon, but Mourinho is adamant that he will one day go back to San Siro and continue his story with a club he clearly holds close to his heart.
Follow me on Twitter @italiafooty
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!