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Report: Mourinho in contact with Inter and Roma

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According to a report by Sky Sports Italia, former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been in contact with Italian clubs Roma and Inter Milan about managing next season.

Mourinho most notably spent time at Inter between 2008 and 2010 where he won the treble in his second season before leaving to join Real Madrid.

Both clubs have managers currently in place, but neither is terribly secure in their position. Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has come under fire for his handling of the Mauro Icardi situation, and while the player has taken much of the public blame, Spalletti left Icardi out of the matchday squad this past weekend, seen as a mishandling of the former captain’s return. Meanwhile, Roma boss Claudio Ranier, hired just a few weeks ago to replace the fired Eusebio Di Francesco, has been thus far unable to engineer a return to form to help the club challenge for a Champions League place.

According to another report in the Italian tabloids, Mourinho would be especially willing to return to Inter, where he would take a sort of “hometown discount” lowering his wage demands from $11 million to $9 million per year. However, Inter CEO Beppe Marotta is reportedly leaning towards Antonio Conte as another possibility.

The Sky Sports Italia report claims that while Roma has spoken to Mourinho over the phone, not much else in the way of negotiations has progressed.

Since his dismissal at Manchester United, Mourinho has worked as an analyst on television, employed mostly in Russia. There has been some speculation that Mourinho could also be a candidate for Bayern Munich in the event the German club decides to part ways with Niko Kovac.

Claudio Ranieri calls Roma ‘not a team’ after loss to SPAL

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Roma suffered a 2-1 road loss to SPAL, and new manager Claudio Ranieri reacted strongly to the possibility that the club will miss out on Champions League qualification next season.

The Italian stated after the game that Roma “played against a team and we were not a team. Effort without organization is not enough.”

Ranieri did not stop there. He eviscerated his player, saying their desire did not match what the game required, and that the players were unable to keep up with SPAL’s effort level, with the home side fighting relegation.

“We lost practically every duel, especially the ones played to feet, and you could see their desperation,” Ranieri said. “SPAL then tried to stall and waste time in the second half, which I fully understand in their circumstances. There are some players who don’t have these characteristics, others are lacking confidence at the moment, but between the two sides, SPAL were certainly more determined.”

Roma out-shot the home side 16-10, but each team finished with four on target. Diego Perotti scored for the visitors in the 55th minute to level things out, but just four minutes later SPAL restored its lead as Juan Jesus committed a foul in the area and Andrea Petagna buried the effort.

After the poor effort, Ranieri said his players could face the axe if they don’t improve. “We need to be more determined, more of a team and also improve our tactics, because we ran hard, but with no real reasoning and that’s not good enough. If Roma go into the Champions League, that is one thing. If they don’t, then quite a few will get a change of scenery. I’ve told the lads since the first day, they have to prove themselves.”

Roma sits three points back of a Champions League place in fifth, but with the loss all four teams above them now have a game in hand as well.

Report: Ranieri wants to bring Drinkwater to AS Roma

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Aaron Ramsey and Danny Drinkwater have squared off plenty of times, but will their next meeting come in Italy?

Reports say that AS Roma caretaker boss Claudio Ranieri is advising his club to chase former Leicester City center mid Danny Drinkwater, now at Chelsea.

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Ramsey, of course, signed a big money deal with Juventus and will join the Turin side when his contract with Arsenal ends after the season.

The 29-year-old Drinkwater has played just 30 minutes under Maurizio Sarri, and that came back in August’s Community Shield loss to Manchester City.

Drinkwater cost Chelsea around $44 million from Leicester City in 2017, but has yet to replicate — or have the chance to replicate — the magic he displayed during the Foxes’ title run.

He has one goal in 23 appearances for the Blues, who are under an incoming transfer ban the next two windows.

Ranieri victorious in his first game back in charge of Roma

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ROME (AP) Claudio Ranieri won his first game back in charge at Roma but it was far from comfortable.

Stephan El Shaarawy and Patrik Schick scored in the first half, and relegation-threatened Empoli’s late equalizer was disallowed on video review as Roma held on to win 2-1 on Monday.

Captain Alessandro Florenzi was sent off 10 minutes from time – on his 28th birthday – following a second booking, and Empoli’s Rade Krunic almost made the advantage count before the video assistant referee determined the ball hit Dimitri Oberlin in the arm just before the goal.

“The first match is over, and the best thing is the result,” Ranieri said. “We have to work a lot, but we will always score sooner or later. We have to work instead on staying focused in order not to concede. It’s not possible that we’re letting in all these goals.

“These 90 minutes hasn’t made me feel calmer, but I’m focused and positive.”

Roma moved three points behind fourth-place Inter Milan, with the top four from Serie A qualifying for the Champions League. Empoli remained a point above the relegation zone.

Ranieri was appointed as interim coach on Friday, a day after Roma fired Eusebio Di Francesco following elimination from the Champions League and a derby defeat to Lazio. In charge of Roma from 2009-11, Ranieri was fired by Fulham of the Premier League on Feb. 28.

His second spell got off to a good start. El Shaarawy fired Roma in front in the ninth minute when he curled a stunning effort into the top right corner, but Empoli leveled in somewhat comical fashion three minutes later as Juan Jesus headed the ball into his own net under very little pressure.

Empoli almost immediately scored a second, but Manuel Pasqual’s free kick bounced off the top left corner of the goal.

Roma took the lead again in the 33rd minute as Florenzi floated in a free kick from outside the right side of the penalty area and Schick headed it into the bottom left corner.

Empoli dominated as Roma’s task was made harder by the list of players missing: Daniele De Rossi, Kostas Manolas, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Cengiz Under were all injured, and Edin Dzeko, Federico Fazio and Aleksandar Kolarov were suspended.

“It was a difficult match without many men seeing that the leaders were out – those who play 90 minutes, players who give a sense of direction to the play and the team,” Ranieri said.

“I knew it would be difficult and I have to congratulate the team, which always remained compact even when we went down to 10 men.”

Ranieri takes charge of Roma; Monchi on his way to Arsenal?

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Claudio Ranieri was out of a job for just over a week.

After being fired by Fulham last Thursday, the veteran Italian coach has taken over at his former club AS Roma after they fired Eusebio Di Franceso on Thursday in the aftermath of the Italian giants losing at FC Porto in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Ranieri, 67, is a lifelong Roma fan and is returning home to Rome. He simply said: “I’m delighted to be coming back home. When Roma call you, it’s impossible to say no.”

This will be his second spell in charge of the Stadio Olimpico club, and his remit is clear: make sure Roma finish in the top four of Serie A and qualify for the Champions League. They are currently three points off the top four with 12 games to go.

“We are delighted to welcome Claudio Ranieri back to the club,” said AS Roma President Jim Pallotta. “We have one objective remaining this season and that is to finish in the highest possible league position and secure qualification for the Champions League. At this stage of the campaign, it was important to bring in a coach who knows the club, understands the environment, can speak the language and is able to motivate the players. Claudio ticks all of those boxes and he’s very excited to take on this challenge.”


There are plenty of ins and outs at Roma…

Roma’s sporting director Monchi left on Friday, as expected, and many believe he will now head to Arsenal to take up a similar position.

Monchi, 50, still had two years left on the contract he signed in 2017 after he was lauded for building a hugely successful squad at Sevilla during his 17 years as their sporting director.

Roma said in a statement that “the two parties have reached a mutual agreement to bring an early end to their professional relationship.”

Current Arsenal boss Unai Emery worked closely with Monchi at Sevilla, with Monchi getting Emery the players to build one of the top teams in Europe as they won three-straight Europa League trophies and competed regularly in the UEFA Champions League.

The Gunners’ head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, left the club in February after just over a year in his position.

Monchi’s close relationship with Emery will be of huge importance to Arsenal, as they try to rebuild their team off the pitch with Ivan Gazidis also leaving for AC Milan in recent months.