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Official: Jose Mourinho to leave Real Madrid

May 20, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

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What’s been coming for a long time is now official.  Jose Mourinho’s three-year tenure at Real Madrid has a finish line.  He will leave the Spanish giants at the end of the season.

Madrid’s president Florentino Perez confirmed in a press conference today, “The time is right to bring our relationship to an end. Nobody has been sacked, it is a mutual agreement.”  Perez also added a token of appreciation, saying, “On behalf of the directors, I would like to thank Jose Mourinho for his hard work over the last three years.”

Mourinho will remain in charge for the club’s final two Primera Division matches against Osasuna and Real Sociedad.

Because the “Special One” has mutually agreed to terminate the contract, he is forgoing the €20 million ($26 million) compensation clause in the event he was sacked.  The club also forgoes a clause of the same amount paid to them in the case Mourinho left for another club.

Perez said that Mourinho leaves without any pre-contract agreement currently in place with another club.  He has been heavily linked with a return to English giants Chelsea, where he managed for a successful yet tumultuous 2 seasons.

Linked with Madrid to replace him has been the likes of PSG head Carlo Ancelotti, although the French champions have recently said they will not agree to release Ancelotti from his contract there.  Current lame duck Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has also been in the mix.

Mourinho called this season at Real Madrid the “worst of his career” thanks to their finishing second in the Primera Division standings, being knocked out of the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals, and most recently losing to Atletico Madrid in the finals of the Copa Del Rey, during which Mourinho was sent off.  Real did win the Supercopa de Espana this year, which pits the previous season’s champions against the previous season’s league cup champions, much like the Community Shield of the Premier League.

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