Jose Mourinho on verge of becoming Fenerbahce manager

Mourinho on the sidelines as Roma manager in December 2023
Jose Mourinho looks set to become the new Fenerbahce manager - Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Jose Mourinho is in talks with representatives of Fenerbahce in London with a view to agreeing a deal this week to take over at the Turkish giants, who are desperate to end 10 years without a domestic league championship.

Mourinho, 61, is eager to work again having lost his most recent job at Roma in January and the offer from Fenerbahce is the best on the table this summer. The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager told Telegraph Sport last month that he does not want to take a break in a career that has seen him working for some of the biggest clubs in Europe for the last 24 years with only a few short periods out the game. Mourinho teased his next destination with a picture of his luggage on his Instagram stories on Friday.

Jose Mourinho's Instagram story teasing his new job at Fenerbahce
Jose Mourinho's Instagram story on Friday - @josemourinho/Instagram

The challenge at Fenerbahce is huge: last season the club amassed 99 points in the Super Lig, lost once all season – in early November – and still finished second behind Galatasaray despite winning away at their rivals. It prompted wild scenes of protest against the club’s hierarchy on the streets of Istanbul.

Fenerbahce won their last title in 2014 and since then four different clubs have been champions, including Galatasaray five times.

The club president Ali Koç, an alumnus of Harrow School and scion of one of Turkey’s wealthiest families, is under considerable pressure to end the run of 10 seasons without a league title. Mourinho represents a major investment for the club. Galatasaray are now just three league titles behind Fenerbahce’s all-time record of 28. Fenerbahce have finished second for the past three seasons.

Koç is running for re-election as Fenerbahce president in polls on June 8 and 9. His opponent Aziz Yildirim had promised to appoint Mourinho if successful, prompting Koç to move first. Mourinho will appear on British broadcaster TNT Sports as a pundit for the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday.

Mourinho does not come cheap and will expect to bring staff with him. A two-year deal has been proposed although the exact terms are yet to be agreed. Jorge Mendes, a longstanding associate and some time agent of Mourinho, is part of the negotiations. It would be Mourinho’s 11th club job, including two stints at Chelsea.

Fenerbahce have a good squad featuring some big names of the Premier League’s past including the Brazilian midfielder Fred, who played for Mourinho at United. The great Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko is their captain and last season’s top goalscorer. Dusan Tadic, Ryan Kent and Michy Batshuayi are all contracted for next term. Fenerbahce will join Champions League qualifying in the second round on July 23.

The Turkish Super Lig was suspended for a week in December after the shocking on-pitch attack on the referee Halil Umut Meler by the president of the club Ankaragucu, Faruk Koca. The official was punched and then kicked while he lay prone on the ground. The Turkish football federation chairman, Mehmet Buyukeksi, said the event had to be a turning point in the league’s history of intimidation of officials. Ankaragucu were one of four sides subsequently relegated.