Jose Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho to take charge of Juventus?

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Do we really think Jose Mourinho is ready for a return?

Multiple reports in Italy claims Juventus’ star forward Cristiano Ronaldo wants Mourinho to become their new manager after it was announced that Max Allegri is stepping down this summer after winning five-straight Serie A titles with the Turin club.

Mourinho, 56, has been out of a job since Manchester United fired him in December, but his status as a serial trophy winner remains intact.

Speaking recently on beIN Sport, where he has been popping up as a pundit on multiple occasions,

“One of the players that I have a great relation with, he plays for a team and he told me, ‘You should come here next season’, and I told him, ‘They don’t love me.’ He told me, ‘You win three matches and they will start loving you.'”

Hmm. Who could he be talking about?

Mourinho didn’t endear himself to Juve’s fans during his time at their rivals Inter Milan where he won the treble, including the UEFA Champions League in 2010. He then added further fuel to the fire as United won late on at Juve in the group stage of the Champions League earlier this season, which then saw Mourinho run out onto the field at full time and goad the home supporters who had mocked him the entire game due to his successful spell at Inter.

Would that stop Juve from hiring him? Probably not. Juve’s CEO Andrea Agnelli is a man who wants success and he wants it now.

Mourinho has also said he plans to be back in a job by this summer, just six months after being fired by United.

He has some time out to reflect on where things went wrong at United and how he can better understand the media demands which surround the game and now it seems like he is ready to dive back in at the deep end.

Juve are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, and everything is in place for them to make another deep run in the Champions League next season, and something drastic would have to happen for them to not win the Italian league in 2019-20.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Mourinho landed at Juve this summer as his defensive tactics suit Serie A and the Italian champs are desperate for success in Europe after bringing in Ronaldo, 34, on a huge salary to win the Champions League. Ronaldo will have a huge say on who the next Juve boss will be, and he is said to not be keen on either Antonio Conte or Maurizio Sarri taking over from Allegri.

If this happens, it would be a lot of fun. Have your popcorn at the ready…

Savage Mourinho details Man United’s problems

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Talk about kicking a club when they’re down…

Jose Mourinho has said a few things about Manchester United since he was fired as their manager in December 2018.

But these are perhaps the most savage comments yet. It’s not how much you say, but what you say, and Jose hasn’t lost his touch.

Speaking to French outlet L’Equipe, Mourinho was asked about why United suffered so badly in the final weeks of the season and ended up finishing in sixth place after losing seven of their final 11 games in all competitions and picking up just one win in that run.

“On Manchester United, I only want to say two things. One is that time has spoken. Two, it’s the problems are still there,” Mourinho said.

Ouch.

Mourinho, 56, is still out of a job but has been linked with moves to the likes of Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, with the Portuguese legend spending plenty of time as a pundit on beIN Sport sharing his thoughts about the game.

Asked be L’Equipe about the power of Paul Pogba at United and if their issues off the field resulted in Mourinho being fired, because the club backed Pogba over him, the former FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss couldn’t have made his feelings any clearer.

“No, no. The problems are there, you can imagine that the problems are the players, the organization and the ambition,” Mourinho said. “I will only say that I cannot say ‘yes’ when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible.”

So, Mourinho is saying that Pogba was a part of the problem and that there is plenty of rot at the core of Manchester United.

He then went on to take a subtle swipe at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“I really squeezed, like an orange, to achieve them. When you have a very professional group of players who are ambitious, hard-working and talented, at a structured club, you don’t have that erosion,” Mourinho explained. “When you are almost alone, in that you don’t have the support of the club close to you, while certain players go somewhat against the coach, who is the nice guy. I don’t want to be the nice guy, because the nice guy, after three months, is a puppet and that doesn’t end well.”

He has spoken quite positively about United since he left but with his replacement Solskjaer (first as a caretaker, then as a permanent head coach in April after an incredible few months in charge) now under pressure, Mourinho is twisting the knife a little.

Is Mourinho to blame for plenty of United’s problems on the pitch? Yes, of course he is. The squad he helped build then rip the confidence out of is largely down to him and his coaching staff.

But the larger problem at United, such as boardroom members (ahem, Ed Woodward) muddling into soccer decisions when they should stick to business, is what is really holding them back.

Until United appoint a sporting director to give them a clear identity and direction, they will be a rudderless ship drifting from one expensive mistake to another.

Mourinho is telling it how it is, and his feat of winning the Europa League and League Cup in 2016-17 and then finishing second in the Premier League in the 2017-18 campaign with these players is looking a better achievement by the week.

He knows it, and that is why Mourinho has gone in on United right now.

One area where Mourinho was right: Man Utd badly needs center backs

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Big Manchester United wins and losses, especially post-Alex Ferguson, have a tendency to get overstated at both ends of the spectrum, but there’s plenty to take away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s recent struggles at the helm of the Red Devils.

[ MORE: Recap | Solskjaer reacts ]

For one thing: Jose Mourinho wasn’t right about much this Manchester United season, but he knew he needed better men in the back.

Everton’s beautiful opener in the first half of Sunday’s 4-0 pummeling of the Red Devils may tempt some to wash over the defending, but heading below the surface shows more problems.

The opener saw Richarlison score a terrific overhead kick after Dominic Calvert-Lewin flick a Lucas Digne throw-in to the back post. Beautiful, for sure, but Smalling never gets up to thwart Calvert-Lewin’s powerful jump.

Now that’s certainly just one example, but United’s slide is a feature of a few things.

Nineteen goals conceded in 17 PL matches is a clear upgrade from the 29 in 17 under Mourinho, and let’s not pretend United hasn’t been better with Solskjaer at the proverbial wheel.

Throw in a very average season from David De Gea — which in his case is far below standards — and it’s not a surprise that United is flailing away from the Top Four. The Alexis Sanchez move has been poor, Romelu Lukaku‘s form has dipped save back-to-back braces against a pair of unremarkable defenses, and Paul Pogba remains mercurial. He’s a monster of the midfield at his best, and a drifting object in the wind at his worst.

There’s a comparison to made with where Liverpool was under Brendan Rodgers somewhere, a legendary club not quite sure of how to fit its standard to its standing. Marcus Rashford needs room to grow, not constant comparison to Romelu Lukaku. There are a lot of extra pieces in the squad, the guys you like as a luxury for a great team but are either too old or too green to be reliable.

Of center backs to play in 10 or more Premier League matches this season, Phil Jones ranks 16th, Chris Smalling is 38th, and Victor Lindelof is 44th. Only 57 are ranked. Advanced stats aren’t foolproof, but they help (Jones and little-used Eric Bailly, for what it’s worth, were well-rated last season).

The club needs a big rebuild, to be sure. De Gea is a suitable goalkeeper for a team with top end ambitions, and we know that Lukaku and Pogba at their best can dominate (whether either is capable of doing it consistently under anyone is a debate).

But really, perhaps De Gea’s amazing 2017-18 and Mourinho’s defense-first system papered over something that’s been evident for some time. There’s neither a Aymeric Laporte or Toby Alderweireld at United, let alone a Virgil Van Dijk.

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.

Mourinho ‘preparing’ for next job; expects to start ‘in June’

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If you thought Jose Mourinho would simply vanish from the public eye of management after the highest-profile embarrassment of his career, being fired by Manchester United, think again.

[ MORE: Sterling’s hat trick gets England off to flying start in EURO qualifying ]

Not only does Mourinho expect to be back on the manager’s hot seat one day, he expects that day is fewer than three months away. Speaking this weekend, the 56-year-old Portuguese is “preparing” himself for a return to the game “in June” — quotes from the BBC:

“I would like to be back in the summer in June for a new club and a new pre-season. I know exactly what I don’t want. I know what I want, in terms of not the specific club but the nature of the job, the dimension of the job.”

According to Mourinho, he could have already taken his next job as he has had “three or four” offers since his dismissal from Old Trafford in December, but he preferred the extended sabbatical instead.

It is unclear whether or not the recently-filled Real Madrid job was, or wasn’t, one of the “three or four” offers. Of course, Mourinho would only ever tell you it was, whether or not that is actually the case.