Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Jose Mourinho reaches Roma decision after Newcastle make Eddie Howe replacement plan

Jose Mourinho on the Roma bench

Newcastle United have been considering current Roma head coach Jose Mourinho as a potential replacement for Eddie Howe, according to a report in Italy.

Howe has done an outstanding job for Newcastle this season, putting them in with a good chance of European qualification. Therefore, there wouldn’t seem to be any need for them to be thinking about replacing him as manager.

But the wealth behind Newcastle means they are continually being tipped to upgrade in every aspect. And now, a report from Il Corriere Dello Sport has inferred that they are the most likely club to bring Mourinho back to the Premier League as a successor to Howe.

Mourinho is currently in the second season of a three-year contract with Serie A side Roma. However, after his previous spells with Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur, the prospect of a Premier League return has been in the background for a while.

And the positive relationship he used to have with the late Sir Bobby Robson has allowed him to view Newcastle with a degree of affinity from afar.

After a season of ups and downs with Roma, the Special One has been taking some time to reflect on his future. They seem to have their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League in a few years, but are currently fifth in the Serie A table, so could just as easily miss out.

It has led to uncertainty about the future of Mourinho and several of their most important players, such as Paulo Dybala and Chris Smalling.

According to Il Corriere Dello Sport, if Mourinho was to leave Roma in the summer, it could be for either Newcastle or Paris Saint-Germain.

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However, the 60-year-old has now decided, according to the report, to honour the final year of his contract with Roma. Therefore, he will be continuing at the club for the 2023-24 season.

Whether Mourinho could take over at Newcastle beyond then will depend on a few factors. For now, though, he can continue thinking about adding to his reputation in Rome after winning last season’s Europa Conference League.

Jose Mourinho decision affects Roma plans

There is a feeling that Mourinho’s commitment will cause Dybala and Smalling to follow suit by staying at Stadio Olimpico.

Mourinho will be expecting greater backing from Roma in the upcoming transfer window. They only spent money on one player last summer – the €7million-rated Zeki Celik – although bringing in players like Dybala for free still showed some ambition.

There are still some uncertainties about how much the Giallorossi can afford to spend on new recruits due to Financial Fair Play, though.

At Newcastle or PSG, Mourinho would almost certainly have been able to receive greater financial backing. But if he is a man of his word, he won’t be going anywhere ahead of next season.

The update may come as a relief to Howe, who would feel hard done by if removed from his post by Newcastle.

Mourinho had also previously been tipped to take over from Graham Potter for a third spell at Chelsea, or to replace the under-pressure David Moyes at West Ham, but his Roma project is seemingly set to enter its third season.

Interestingly, no Roma coach has completed three seasons in charge since Luciano Spalletti’s first spell there, between 2005 and 2009. Thus, it will be interesting to see if Mourinho can achieve anything significant in what remains of his own spell in the capital.

His side are in the Europa League quarter-finals this season, on the opposite side of the draw to his former club Man Utd.