Written By Onyeka Daniel
The future of Jose Mourinho is always up in the air, no matter which club he is, or even when he’s without a club, he’s always getting linked and now, the Special One, as he’s fondly called during his days in England has been linked with the job of the Brazilian national team coach.
According to a new report, Mourinho is prepared to turn down the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia for a chance to manage Brazil’s national team. The 60yrs old remains in charge at Roma but his current contract at the Stadio Olimpico will expire at the end of this season.
Speculation has already begun to mount over whether Mourinho could move on in the summer and the former Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham boss has made no secret of his plans to manage in Saudi in the future.
However, he could be persuaded to put those ideas on hold if the opportunity to take charge of Brazil comes his way. Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with the Selecao, who are currently under the interim management of Fluminense coach Fernando Diniz.
Mourinho has already urged Ancelotti to stay put at another of his former clubs, declaring that “only a madman would leave Real Madrid when he is still wanted” and he also ruled himself out of the running to replace Ancelotti if he eventually leaves the Los Blancos.
But Mourinho’s comments may have an ulterior motive, as UOL report he has expressed his interest in taking up the permanent post with Brazil. Their report adds that Mourinho feels he is now unlikely to land another job at a top European club and sees international management as his logical next step.
Mourinho’s stock had never been lower when Roma swooped to appoint him just weeks after his disappointing failed stint at Spurs. But he has restored some credibility with the job he has done in Rome, where he’s guided his team to Europa Conference League success before falling just short in last season’s Europa League final, losing on penalties against Sevilla.
He led Roma to successive sixth-place finishes in Serie A, though he continues to work on a smaller budget than rival clubs and Roma look unlikely to upset the established giants of the division anytime soon. Roma are currently fifth in Serie A though Mourinho has faced some pressure after a tricky start to the season. While Mourinho rejected the advances of Saudi clubs offering lucrative wages in the summer, he may be tempted at a fresh challenge when his deal comes to an end.
Speaking just last month, he told reporters: “I will go to Saudi Arabia in some free time, but I am convinced that I will work there. I don’t know when, but I am pretty sure of it. No one knows the future, but I will definitely do this [working in Saudi Arabia].”
Mourinho has also claimed he turned down the chance to manage his native Portugal ahead of the appointment of Roberto Martinez in January. “The fact that the president of the FPF said that I was not his first choice, but his only choice, makes me proud,” Mourinho claimed. “But I decided not to go. I’m here and that’s what matters.”
Lazio manager, Maurizio Sarri has called for his side to bounce back from their poor form against Celtic, wanting his players to ‘respond not in words, but on the pitch’. The Biancocelesti again slumped to a disappointing result on the weekend, falling to Serie A strugglers Salernitana in a 2-1 defeat, the Granata’s first victory of the campaign. Fans have started to lose faith in the coach, who has struggled to get the team in rhythm this term.
Lazio have looked more positive in the Champions League and can book their spot in the Round of 16 of the competition should they beat Celtic and Atletico Madrid beat Feyenoord, pilling on the pressure ahead of their clash on Tuesday evening. Speaking in a press conference, Sarri first discussed what signals he received from his Lazio squad after the loss to Salernitana.
“I don’t want to have signals now, but tomorrow. We lost a match due to superficiality, due to lack of determination, in a bad way. So, the team must respond not in words, but on the pitch. “I said what I had to say yesterday, now we need to regroup without going any further, hoping that the Champions League atmosphere will give us something more.” He was asked if the club’s management intervened after the defeat. “The director did it, in a very tough way. I’m happy about this, it was needed in my opinion.”
The Lazio coach commented on if the old guard can help turn things around. “Now there is no longer the old guard and the new. We need to reset. It’s useless to talk about tactics, when a team enters the pitch less decisive than the other, they don’t win. Tactics can help, but they are not enough.” Sarri was asked if Lazio should change tactics considering their predictability.
“Barcelona dominated for ten years by always playing the same way. This is bar talk that doesn’t interest me.” He spoke about if there were any signs of the coming issues during the pre-season retreat. “The retreat was done at good levels. Something changed afterwards, during the summer the atmosphere was of an excellent level.” He touched on the qualities of Celtic.
“They have decent technical qualities, they play at a very high pace. They’re not an easy team to face. The two away defeats were conditioned by a double numerical inferiority. It will be a complicated match tomorrow.” The Lazio coach spoke about the team’s mentality issues against provincial sides.
“The mentality depends on 2000 factors, not just on the coach’s words. Most likely on an environmental level something transmits little, here is the problem given that players and coaches have changed.” Finally, Sarri provided an update on the health of his Lazio squad. “Zaccagni, Romagnoli and Casale, who is improving, are all out. Rovella is better. Let’s see today and then take stock.” He further added.
Do you have a story tip?
Kindly Email: firstname.lastname@example.org