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José Mourinho

Roma react to Portugal’s interest in Mourinho as club director discusses job share rumours

6:02 AM EST 1/3/23
Jose Mourinho Roma
Roma are confident that Jose Mourinho will remain at their managerial helm for the foreseeable future despite renewed talk of interest from Portugal.
  • International role now vacant
  • Proven winner being targeted
  • Serie A side ignoring speculation

WHAT HAPPENED? The enigmatic 59-year-old coach is being linked with a prominent international post in his homeland following Fernando Santos’ decision to step down from that role at the end of the 2022 World Cup. There have been suggestions that Mourinho could combine commitments with Roma and Portugal, allowing him to work two jobs, but those at Stadio Olimpico continue to take such speculation with a pinch of salt.

WHAT THEY SAID: Roma director Tiago Pinto has told the Gazzetta dello Sport of rumours that he always expected to surface: “When you get a coach like Mourinho, you must be accustomed to rumours. This was the first time in 18 months that a club or a federation were interested in him. We had no distractions in the Algarve, we were only focused on work. I am Portuguese and every time we change coach, Mourinho is mentioned, but we count on him for the future.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pinto has also been discussing transfer talk in the Italian capital, with Roma hoping that Nicolo Zaniolo will extend a contract due to expire in 2024. Pinto added: “There’s no rush, as his agent Vigorelli said. Now we focus on the pitch. We have a good dialogue with Nicolo and his entourage, we’ll find a moment to talk, in the end, there will be no problems.” He went on to say of English centre-half Chris Smalling, who is due to hit free agency in the summer: “We want to keep him and he must give us an answer. He has a clause to leave, we paid €15m plus commissions to sign him and his salary is €4m. Roma invested a lot on him, waiting patiently when he was injured, he knows we rely on him.”

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WHAT NEXT? Roma, who savoured Europa Conference League glory under Mourinho last season, sit seventh in the Serie A table at present and will be back in action on Wednesday when playing host to Bologna.