Jose Mourinho has been tipped to make his former player Kurt Zouma one of his first signings as Roma boss in the summer.
It was announced last week that Mourinho would take charge of the Giallorossi at the end of the season. He was out of work for just a matter of weeks having been sacked by Tottenham last month. The Portuguese manager has signed a three-year deal with the Italian side which will commence in the summer.
He has a rebuilding job on his hands after what has been a difficult season for Roma. There will be work to do in the transfer market, with a centre-back one of the main targets.
Mourinho signed Zouma for the west London club in 2014 during his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The French international was first choice centre-back for Mourinho at the start of the 2015/16 season up until his sacking in December 2015.
Mourinho’s admiration for the 26-year-old has persisted in the years since. He showed an interest in signing him again at both Manchester United and Tottenham.
It could now be third time lucky when he takes over the reigns at Roma. Zouma has been used sporadically by Thomas Tuchel, so he might look for a move away to be a first-choice once again, which Mourinho would almost certainly offer.
Also on the list is Eric Dier, who Mourinho was very fond of in his time as Spurs boss. However, Gazetta dello Sport recently reported that Dier is not keen on moving anywhere in the foreseeable future.
Focus key for Jose
Away from the transfer market, Mourinho has insisted he does not let outside noise affect his managerial decisions as he prepares to take over at Roma.
The end of his stint at Tottenham had all the hallmarks of a typical Mourinho exit as he publicly criticised players, alienated fans with his style of play and picked fights with the media.
Despite that, Mourinho says he is only focused on what goes on in the club.
“We don’t let outside influences affect what we do inside,” he said in an interview with trading partner XTB. “Pressure is always there in football, so we focus on the basics and our preparation and we keep the environment fun but committed and professional.
“For me, every game has a pressure because they all mean different things. There is pressure with a derby, a semi-final to make the final, a final to win the trophy, and three points to progress up the table and not lose your position.
“The best way to keep the pressure away is to prepare with consistency and also in normal conditions so the players don’t feel anything different.”