Written By Onyeka Daniel
From the start of this season, speculations have been rife over the future of Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, with reports that he could join the mass exodus to move to Saudi Arabia, but in the end, he stayed with the Italian club.
But that has ended the speculations that he will leave the Giallorosi, a fact that the former Inter Milan manager has now all but confirmed in a recent interview. Mourinho, who also coach Real Madrid and Chelsea in his illustrious career has thrown his long-term Roma future into further doubt, first, by revealing that he’s not looking to return to the Los Blancos after the future of Carlo Ancelotti was thrown in doubt.
He further admitted he had a conversation with club owner Dan Friedkin but not over a potential contract renewal. The 60-year-old seems closer to leaving than staying at the Stadio Olimpico as he continues to send cryptic messages about his plans.
During an interview with TV7, Mourinho refused to provide clarity over his future at Roma amid talks linking him with a move to Saudi Arabia. “I’ve spoken to Friedkin, but not about renewal,” the Roma boss said. “Will I stay here? I don’t know. The last time I spoke to coach Dan was on the phone, ten minutes after the Lazio game ended, in my office.
“Last week, I spoke with Ryan. Let’s talk about today and today’s work, not renewal.” It’s still uncertain whether Mourinho will be in charge of Roma by the end of the season. Much will likely hinge on the team’s European achievements, considering they’ve already thrown in the towel in the Serie A title race after an abysmal start to the new campaign.
If it comes down to Mourinho to decide, he’ll likely assess his options depending on how the season pans out for Roma. Returning to the Champions League would probably make him stay, but the Special One will need to pull another rabbit out of his hat to get his side over the line first.
Already, there’s talks of a friction between the manager and one of his players, Chris Smalling, but that’s related to the English defender’s struggles with injuries and Mourinho’s inability to call upon him this season when needed.
Also, the future of Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku is said to be tied to Mourinho. Should Mourinho stay beyond this season, then the Giallorosi will try to make Lukaku’s loan move a permanent signing and vice versa.
The eternal city club are fond admirers of Serbia defender Nikola Milenkovic and would like to bring him over to the Stadio Olimpico, but they face plenty of obstacles if they are to tempt him away from his beloved Fiorentina.
The Giallorossi are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements after a series of unfortunate injuries to their current options. According to Calciomercato, Milenkovic has been identified as the ideal profile to bolster the team’s defensive options.
However, an approach for the towering 26-year-old will not be straightforward, particularly if Roma are planning on a move in the January transfer window. Milenkovic, who joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2017, has a strong affection for his current club and has turned down multiple offers from other clubs in recent years as per Calciomercato’s report. He also demonstrated his commitment to La Viola by penning a new contract last season which runs until the summer of 2027.
The report also notes that Milenkovic would probably not want to abandon his team midway through the current season. Then there is the issue of the price tag, which has been rumoured to be somewhere in the region of the €20m mark, although it may take even more to convince President Rocco Commiso to let go of his rock at the back. Regardless, Roma remain interested and Tiago Pinto will reportedly explore all possible options, especially if Smalling continue to struggle with fitness issues.
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