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Jose Mourinho responds to rumours he could replace Howe at Newcastle with major declaration on Roma future

Jose Mourinho of Roma and Eddie Howe of Newcastle

Jose Mourinho of Roma and Eddie Howe of Newcastle

Jose Mourinho has delivered the verdict on his future at Roma and amid speculation he could be tempted back to the Premier League once again this summer as the manager of Newcastle United.

The spiky Portuguese coach is one of the most recognisable faces in world football after a stellar 23-year career in management that has seen him working for some of the world’s biggest sides. Now in his eighth senior role with Roma, Mourinho counts the likes of Porto, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Real Madrid among his former sides.

However, he is perhaps best known for the two spells he enjoyed at Chelsea, which delivered a plethora of trophies but ultimately ended in a high-profile falling out on both occasions.

Having delivered silveware everywhere he has been – with the sorry exception of Tottenham – Mourinho has recently been linked with one last hurrah in the Premier League with Newcastle.

The Magpies have enjoyed a miraculous rise since the PIF takeover just over two years ago, with their appointment of Eddie Howe seen as a masterstroke.

The likeable coach has elevated Newcastle into the Champions League this season, after a top-four finish last time around. And while their adventure came to a frustrating end at the first hurdle, they can feel proud of their achievements, especially given the toughness of their group.

While Howe’s position at St James’ Park is seemingly not under any immediate threat, rumours linking PIF with an approach for Mourinho have rarely been far from the news since they seized control.

And with his deal due to expire with the Serie A giants this summer, Newcastle will never have a better chance to appoint the 60-year-old.

READ MORE ~ Premier League sack race: Newcastle boss Howe positioned in top six

Jose Mourinho addresses Newcastle links and Roma future

Mourinho, however, has now addressed speculation that he could leave Roma and return to the Premier League with Newcastle.

And in his interview with DAZN, Mourinho was quick to underline his desire to stay in the Italian capital and that his exit would there would not be of his doing.

“I will tell you something I have not yet said, because I did not want to say it. I want to continue at Roma. I want to continue here. If I continue at Roma, we need to really think about what we can do with the FFP limitations,” he stated.

“Perhaps it is better to work with young players and develop for the future rather than with some players who have nothing more to develop. I want to continue and we perhaps ought to think about it in a different way.

“I know the dimensions of this team, when everyone is available, we have sufficient quality to fight it out. We didn’t finish fourth last season because we reached a European final and were too stretched out. Without fundamental players, obviously it is difficult.”

Asked if negotiations had been with Roma yet over an extension, he added: “We have not talked about it. You are the first person I have said this to. When the fans see their team play the way we did today, there is not much to love. How many kilometres did they travel to see this team, to cheer us on for 92 minutes?

“They are special and it would be difficult to split from these fans. If I was to separate from them, it would never be my own choice. Never.”

Mourinho apologises to Renato Sanches over substituing the substitute

Mourinho was facing the press after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Bologna that saw his side slip to seventh in Serie A.

The major talking point of the game though was withdrawal of Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches in the 63rd minute – just 18 minutes after his introduction as a half-time substitute.

The 26-year-old former Bayern Munich and Swansea man was not injured and Mourinho was quick to offer his apology to the player.

“I want to publicly apologise to Renato, because what I felt that I had to do was very harsh, but it is harsher even on a coach. I think in three or four times in my career I have done this and I apologise,” Mourinho said.

“Without Paulo [Dybala], there is no quality in this squad. Without Romelu [Lukaku], there is no physicality in this squad. Without either of them, I knew it would be tough for us.

“I could tell obviously the players wanted to do better, but if we had no tactical problems – when they scored the first goal, it was a very balanced match – we did have huge difficulties on a physical level. Bologna have players with intensity, engine and legs, whereas we do not have those characteristics.

“As an example, [Rasmus] Kristiansen has limitations technically, but he has physicality. After that, the game became more complicated.

“We had our chances to get a goal for 1-1 or 2-1, we didn’t convert them, and it became difficult.”

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