The latest from Italy suggests Roma could struggle to retain Jose Mourinho beyond the summer, and the Portuguese is under serious consideration at Newcastle.
Mourinho took charge in Rome last summer, though his first season at the helm has failed to ignite. Roma currently lay in seventh position in Serie A, and exited the Coppa Italia at the quarter-final stage. They qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League, though a competition of that nature will do little to rouse Mourinho.
As such, Italian journalist Maurizio Catalani has expressed his “big doubts” as to Mourinho’s long-term future in Rome.
Key to the uncertainty is the club’s summer spending plans. If they are unprepared to back Mourinho in the market, Catalani thinks it could be curtains.
“If Roma don’t make a fair and important purchase campaign, I have my doubts that Mourinho will stay at Roma,” Catalani told Giallorossi.net (via Sport Witness).
Catalani then insisted he’s heard Newcastle are weighing up an approach for the Portuguese.
The Magpies appointed Eddie Howe after dismissing Steve Bruce earlier this season. Howe has turned their ship around after spending around £90m in January, with Newcastle winning three on the spin in the league.
Newcastle “thinking seriously” about Mourinho
However, Newcastle’s ambition will quickly extend towards the European places in the coming seasons, and few managers in world football have the experience and gravitas Mourinho would provide.
Catalani continued: “He won’t stay here and take four goals from Verona. I know that Newcastle, who have an unlimited budget and are currently the richest club in the world, are thinking seriously about him.
Diego Carlos still wanted by Newcastle who will try again in summer
Diego Carlos from Sevilla is still wanted by Newcastle United this summer
“Roma, on the other hand, are a team that has big flaws and with which it is difficult to build a game. It’s not good for him, but it’s not good for many other coaches.
“That Mourinho will stay in June, I have big doubts.”
Any such notion of replacing Howe with Mourinho is clearly not advanced as yet. However, the prospect of a blank chequebook back in the Premier League is one that will surely appeal.
Newcastle chase Red Bull rising star
Meanwhile, Newcastle will resurrect summer transfer interest in RB Salzburg striker Noah Okafor amid doubt over a deal for Hugo Ekitike, according to a report.
They had a deal for Reims’ France Under-21 international Ekitike all-but sealed until the move collapsed.
However, Bild (via Sport Witness) has claimed that Chelsea are now rivalling Newcastle for the 19-year-old. Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have also joined the race.
As such, Newcastle have other irons in the fire and are now reportedly turning to RB Salzburg star Okafor.
The striker has scored 12 goals in 25 games – close to an average of one every two matches – and will supposedly cost €12million (£10million).
However, Bild adds in a separate report that Dortmund, Hertha Berlin, Inter and Sevilla also have interest in Okafor.