José Mourinho’s first public act as the Manchester United manager could be to defend himself in the employment tribunal brought by the former Chelsea first-team doctor Eva Carneiro against the club, which is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Carneiro is claiming constructive dismissal against Chelsea and has a separate, but connected, personal legal action against Mourinho, who left the club in December, for alleged victimisation and discrimination.
The case against Chelsea is anticipated to be heard over seven to 10 days until 24 June at Croydon Employment Tribunal but it could be settled at any time.
The parties must agree to a settlement for the tribunal, which would be accessible to the public and the media, to be averted. Private hearings in January and February took place without a resolution.
Witness statements and documents – including texts and emails – would likely be made public, while Carneiro, Mourinho and representatives from Chelsea could be called to appear as witnesses.
It could overshadow the start of Mourinho’s employment at Old Trafford. He was named Louis van Gaal’s successor on 27 May.
Chelsea have declined to comment on the case but supported Mourinho even after his employment as manager was terminated.
Carneiro and the physiotherapist Jon Fearn were criticised by Mourinho and dropped from first-team duties following the draw with Swansea City on the opening day of the 2015‑16 Premier League season, on 8 August 2015.
The pair went on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard, an action which meant Chelsea were temporarily down to nine men because their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had already been sent off.
The doctor did not appear on the bench again for first-team duties and later parted company with the club, while Fearn continues to be employed by Chelsea and returned to the first-team bench in March.
Mourinho was cleared of using discriminatory language towards Carneiro, following an investigation by the Football Association. Carneiro and the FA’s independent board member, Dame Heather Rabbatts, criticised the governing body for not interviewing the doctor as part of its investigation.
Carneiro has also had backing from Fifa’s medical chairman, Michel D’Hooghe, who contacted the doctor to offer his support and that of the world governing body. He has backed Carneiro’s insistence she was simply doing her job.