Madrid: Enigmatic Jose Mourinho, with a smile on his face but a tear in his eye, looks poised to quit Inter Milan after sealing his place as a truly great manager with a second Champions League title on Saturday.
Inter completed an unprecedented Italian treble after Diego Milito`s double downed Bayern Munich 2-0 at Real Madrid`s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where the Portuguese could be coaching next season.
"Should I change teams my career won`t change. Next year I could face Inter. If I go to play at the San Siro, I go to play at home," he told a news conference having earlier given conflicting signals on his future to television stations.
"I`m coach of Inter not Real Madrid. I`m very proud now of being Inter coach. If I become Real coach it`s because the club (Real) wants the same as me," he added.
Mourinho, who became only the third coach to win the European Cup with two different clubs having triumphed with Porto in 2004, said he had not held talks with Real but could do "after tomorrow".
Inter, winners of the trophy in 1964 and 1965, were starved of European Cup success having last been in the final in 1972.
In two years Mourinho has moulded Inter into a team which is hugely difficult to beat thanks to their rock solid defence and deadly counter-attacking play.
His relationship with the club looks to be heading for a very amicable divorce, even if he will be glad to leave the demands of the Italian game where he was criticised by the media and punished with touchline bans for his trademark antics.
As if to say goodbye, he embraced club president Massimo Moratti after his side lifted the trophy to a huge firework display and an equally spectacular flash of camera bulbs.
"It was an unstoppable hug. More than the words it was the hug. It was an incredible wedding between us. He wanted me a few years ago when I was at Chelsea. He tried again and I went and maybe he had a feeling I could give him his dream," he said.
His players certainly believe Mourinho is moving on with captain Javier Zanetti saying he had told them he was leaving.
Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder summed up the mood best.
"We`ll lose the architect of the team," he told reporters.
Brash Mourinho always likes the last word, however, and he is plotting more Champions League success if he signs for Real.
"Few have the privilege of winning it. It`s an even bigger privilege winning it twice. I can win a third, a fourth, a fifth time but I don`t think the feelings will be different," he said.
"The feelings are joy and happiness and a tear if I leave."