Jose Mourinho might have had a pretty miserable end to his 2018 but he could soon be back in charge of one of the biggest clubs in the world if rumours are to be believed.
But sources close to the Portuguese coach have said that Mourinho is now free to manage wherever he wishes after reportedly receiving his full £15 million ($19.1 million) payoff from the Manchester giants.
The fee reflects the slightly-less-than two years Mourinho had remaining on his contract, an improved deal which had been agreed a year ago.
Mourinho's first fully-fledged job as a manager was with the Eagles where he took over from former Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes in 2000.
"I have no intention of working in Portugal at all", he said.
Jose Mourinho has dropped a huge hint that he'd be interested in returning to Real Madrid as manager by describing the prospect as a "tremendous honour" on Thursday.
Real are struggling to claw their way back up the La Liga table under new boss Santiago Solari and are thought to be considering an approach to their former manager, who won La Liga with the club in 2011-12.
"I haven't received an offer and even if I did, obviously the president of Benfica and the club itself would be the first to know my decision", he said.
The former Real midfielder has fared better but has still lost three times to leave the Champions League holders in fifth, 10 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona who are top.
As reported earlier, 55-year-old Mourinho has been heading Manchester United since 2016.
Reports in Portugal last week stated that the Lisbon club were keen on offering Mourinho a return to management.
The source added: "There has been no contact, but they did get in touch with Jose after Lopetegui was dismissed, but he told them he was the manager of Manchester United and totally committed to the club".