Jose Mourinho named new Roma manager - and saves Spurs £13m

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Sam Dean
·6-min read
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Jose Mourinho named new Roma manager from next season - PA
Jose Mourinho named new Roma manager from next season - PA

Jose Mourinho’s appointment as the new head coach of AS Roma has saved Tottenham Hotspur millions of pounds in compensation.

It is understood that Mourinho was due around 18 months’ worth of salary — around £16 million — from Tottenham following his sacking last month. His decision to take the Roma job ahead of next season means he has therefore sacrificed more than a year’s worth of compensation, estimated to be worth around £13m.

Roma have not specified Mourinho’s official start date, saying only that he will “begin his new role ahead of the 2021/22 campaign”.

It is likely that Mourinho’s contract in Italy begins in July this year, meaning that Tottenham will continue to pay their former manager for the next three months. Mourinho’s appointment at Roma comes just 15 days after he was sacked by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Watch: Jose Mourinho secures quick return to management with Roma

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Tiago Pinto, Roma’s general manager, said the club “immediately jumped at the chance” to speak with Mourinho once he had become available. The news of the 58-year-old’s appointment comes after Roma were thrashed 6-2 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Manchester United. The Italian side are currently seventh in Serie A under Paulo Fonseca.

“After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma,” said Mourinho. “It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years. The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.”

Mourinho has enjoyed considerable success in Italy before, having secured two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the Champions during his spell at Inter Milan from 2008 to 2010.

“When Jose became available, we immediately jumped at the chance to speak with one of the greatest managers of all time,” said Pinto.

“We were blown away by Jose’s desire to win and his passion for the game: no matter how many trophies he has won, his primary focus is always on the next one. He possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to compete at all levels. We know that in order to build a successful sporting project it takes time, patience and the right people in the right positions. We are supremely confident that Jose will be the perfect coach for our project, for both our immediate and long-term future.”

Comment: From Man Utd to Spurs, and Inter to now Roma, how Jose Mourinho’s diminishing clubs prove his star has fallen

By Jason Burt

And so he is back. Even for a manager who finds being out-of-work as difficult as Jose Mourinho does landing a big job two weeks after being fired by Tottenham Hotspur is some going.

Certainly Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will be pleased given Mourinho being employed again should reduce the pay-out due to him — although some sources still insist he is due a year’s money come-what-may.

Mourinho does not take over at Roma until the end of the season and his choice of new club is indicative of the direction his career is heading in. Yes, it is a big club but it is not a club that big managers want to go to at present. Max Allegri, who may be heading back to Juventus, turned them down and so did others.

To a degree it is surprising, after his recent failures, that Mourinho is deemed employable by any major club in the big five European leagues.

But if there is one country where the 58-year-old’s reputation remains high, outside of his native Portugal, then it is Italy. Like or loathe Mourinho there is no question that he made his mark during his two years at Inter Milan which culminated in an unprecedented treble of Champions League, Serie A title and Coppa Italia.

Stopping Inter now will be Mourinho’s remit and it is one that will motivate him especially given they are coached by Antonio Conte — if he stays — who succeeded him at Chelsea. There is no love lost between the pair.

There is also one thing for sure. Mourinho will have been promised money to spend by the Friedkins, the American billionaires who bought Roma last August. Roma are seventh in Serie A and nine points adrift of city rivals Lazio and it is a long way back for them. Mourinho will be impatient.

Undoubtedly it is a gamble and not just because of the circus that comes with Mourinho and good luck to Roma’s young general manager Tiago Pinto although the fact he is Portuguese, and came from Benfica, suggests a link.

Roma are not Inter or Juventus just like Spurs are not Chelsea or United - SHUTTERSTOCK
Roma are not Inter or Juventus just like Spurs are not Chelsea or United - SHUTTERSTOCK

In a sense Roma are the Spurs of Italy. They have under-achieved for years with their last trophy won back in 2008 — when Spurs lifted their last silverware. Like Spurs, who lost the Carabao Cup final days after Mourinho’s dismissal, Roma hoped that might change this season but the 6-2 thumping they received against Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final first leg looks to have put paid to that.

Maybe Mourinho can revive Roma and, let us be honest, himself but the fear must be that the trajectory of the jobs he is now taking is linked to the downward direction of his career even if it is a slow, steady decline. Roma are not Inter or Juventus just like Spurs are not Chelsea or United.

It is becoming a career of diminishing returns — apart from his bank balance — for Mourinho. Presumably, Roma are gambling on him being re-energised by a return to Italy although that is also to forget how desperate he was to leave when he quit Inter 11 years ago for Real Madrid and how difficult his relationship with the media, in particular, came.

Back then everyone wanted Mourinho. Now it seems his options are becoming ever more limited even if he continues to convince some owners that it will be different this time around.

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