Rumour Has It: Mourinho eyes Premier League connections for Roma, Madrid and PSG targeting Serie A pair

By Sports Desk May 07, 2021

Jose Mourinho is already plotting his moves in his first transfer window at Roma, where he will take charge at the end of the season.

The Portuguese reportedly is hoping to bring players he already knows to Serie A.

Could a pair of Red Devils and Spurs be headed to the Italian capital? 

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES FAMILIAR FACES

Jose Mourinho may turn to his Premier League connections to bolster his first Roma side. 

Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and David de Gea are among the players with Old Trafford legacies on Mourinho's wish list, according to the Daily Mirror and Todofichajes. 

Among more recent Mourinho pupils, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are among the Spurs players who stand as possibilities, says Corriere dello Sport. 

Football London also linked Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura with possible Roma moves as former Tottenham head coach Mourinho prepares to replace Paulo Fonseca ahead of the 2021-22 season.

 

ROUND-UP  

- Corriere dello Sport reports Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Napoli star Fabian Ruiz and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Spain international Fabian has been heavily linked with Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Fellow midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, meanwhile, continues to be linked with the likes of Inter, Juventus, United and PSG.

Yves Bissouma could be headed to Manchester City as a replacement for Fernandinho, the Daily Star claims. City are said to be confident they can strike a £30million deal for the 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder. The Daily Express, however, has Arsenal leading the fight for the Mali international, with TottenhamWest Ham and Everton also potential landing spots. 

Chelsea may bring back striker Armando Broja on a lucrative contract after loaning the 19-year-old to Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem this term, Fabrizio Romano says, but other big clubs are circling as well.

- Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is considering a move to MLS after his contract ends in June, Calciomercato reports. 

Miralem Pjanic could leave Barcelona as Sport claims the midfield outcast attracts interest from the likes of Chelsea and Inter

- Barca are considering the idea of allowing Francisco Trincao to leave on loan amid interest from Milan and Roma, according to Calciomercato. 

- RMC Sport says Milan have reached an agreement in principle to sign Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan at the end of the season. It comes amid doubts over the future of star Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is set to become a free agent. Yet to renew, Donnarumma has been linked with Juve, Tottenham, Chelsea and United.

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    Olivier Giroud has revelled in being able to celebrate Milan's "special, unique" Serie A success with two of the great Rossoneri strikers.

    Giroud scored two goals on Sunday's final day of the season to help clinch a 3-0 win at Sassuolo and the Scudetto.

    The triumph ended an 11-year wait for a title for Milan and a 10-year wait for Giroud, whose sole previous domestic championship came with Montpellier.

    "This Scudetto with Milan has a special, unique flavour," the forward told la Repubblica.

    "I won the only national title in my career 10 years ago in Ligue 1, at Montpellier. I was young. This is the triumph of maturity.

    "I was talking about it with my brother. Thinking about it, I still have goosebumps, especially since I won with the Milan shirt."

    Giroud's love for all things Milan made one post-title message particularly precious, as former Ballon d'Or winner Andriy Shevchenko reached out.

    "We felt the emotion of the fans, who have been waiting for this joy for 11 years," Giroud added. "This club is back in its place, I'm proud of us.

    "As a kid, my idol was Shevchenko – he sent me a message of compliments; he made me too happy."

    Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a member of Milan's previous title-winning team and now back aged 40, has also had a big role to play.

    Giroud, himself a veteran at 35, said: "Zlatan is the alpha male. When he speaks, everyone pays attention.

    "On the bus, he grabbed the microphone and had a personalised gift for everyone, from us players to every member of the staff. Before the games, he made videos and messages.

    "He is a leader, I hope he can continue. I told him I'm proud to have played with him. For me, he is like a big brother."

    The season's only real lowlight was a group-stage exit in the Champions League, meaning the target now is to kick on in Europe.

    "That's the next step: to go as far as possible in Europe," the World Cup winner said.

    "The group is certainly growing and if it remains the same, it can continue a winning cycle. I can't wait to go back to Milanello, [after] just a little vacation."

    But Giroud also has aims again in Serie A: "[I want] to win again. I came here for the Scudetto, and it has arrived. A sportsman lives his career for moments like this.

    "In the midst of such a young team, it's like I'm 20. I am living my second youth."

  • Mourinho proving the hunger remains as Abraham-inspired Roma target European glory Mourinho proving the hunger remains as Abraham-inspired Roma target European glory

    You would have been forgiven for thinking the days of Jose Mourinho leading teams to European finals were over.

    From 2002 to 2010, Mourinho-coached sides appeared in two Champions League finals and one UEFA Cup showdown. On each occasion, 'The Special One' triumphed.

    He had to wait seven years for his next appearance in a continental showpiece, but he kept up his 100 per cent record – Manchester United beating Ajax to lift the 2016-17 Europa League trophy.

    But that was an early peak in Mourinho's United tenure. His stock has since fallen. He was sacked in 2018 and then lasted just 18 months at Tottenham, the only club he has managed so far where he has not won a trophy.

    He might have had the opportunity to win the EFL Cup with Spurs, though he was sacked before that rescheduled match could take place. Hard lines.

    It was hard not to feel Mourinho's race had been run. He can no longer be considered among the truly elite managers, and that was reflected as he rocked up at Roma.

    Not that Roma, three-time champions of Italy, are by any means a small club. They were in the Champions League semi-finals as recently as 2018.

    Yet, their last title came in 2001 and their last trophy of any description came in 2008 when they won the Coppa Italia for the ninth time. Ironically, Mourinho's Inter then beat Roma in the Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the following season, the last time the Giallorossi had a chance to win a piece of silverware.

    But Mourinho is a winner, and now he has the chance to remind everyone of that. He is back in a European final as Roma get the opportunity to win their first major European trophy. No other coach has reached the final of a major European competition with four different clubs.

    "I am a coach with a certain history and Roma are a big club," he told UEFA's Italian website. "I did feel a little bit of responsibility to make this a big competition.

    "The Conference League is our Champions League. This is the level we are at, the competition we are playing for. The club has not reached a game like this for a very long time."

    The Europa Conference League may have been scoffed at when it was introduced but for fans of Roma, and their opponents Feyenoord, continental glory that would otherwise have evaded them is now within their grasp.

    With a record-breaking striker leading the line in the form of Tammy Abraham, Mourinho might just have a fifth European title under his belt.

    Life in the old dog?

    Mourinho has overseen 54 games so far at Roma, triumphing in 28 of them to give him a win percentage of 52.

    That is a slight dip from the 55 per cent in 2020-21, though that was over three fewer matches, but an improvement on the 46 per cent (from 35 games) and 42 per cent (from 24 fixtures) in 2019-20 and 2018-19 respectively.

    Roma won 18 Serie A games this season, ensuring a place in the Europa League through a sixth-placed finish.

    His 47 per cent win ratio in the league ranks him 10th out of Roma coaches to have overseen at least 10 games, while his 52 per cent in all competitions puts him joint-sixth, alongside predecessor Paulo Fonseca, of those bosses to have taken charge of at least 20 matches.

    Perhaps Mourinho's decline is highlighted by the fact he is placing so much emphasis on winning UEFA's third-tier club tournament, but from Roma's perspective, that desire will surely be welcome.

    Abraham the key?

    Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea, Abraham has become something of a cult figure at Roma.

    Abraham called Mourinho "the best manager in the world" in an interview with talkSPORT in April, and he has certainly thrived under the Portuguese's guidance.

    He has scored 27 goals across all competitions this season, one better than the previous best tally he had managed, which was 26 goals for both Bristol City (in 2016-17) and Aston Villa (2018-19), albeit both of those campaigns were in the Championship.

    It has been a record-breaking season for Abraham. A first-half double against Torino on Friday saw the 24-year-old become the highest-scoring English player in a single season in the Italian top flight, surpassing the previous mark of 16 set by Gerald Hitchens at Inter in 1961-62. 

    The only Roma player to score more than the England international's haul of 17 in a debut Serie A season with the club was Rodolfo Volk, who registered 21 in the 1929-30 campaign. 

    He has featured in all but one of Roma's league games, starting 36 times and averaging a goal every 182 minutes, converting 17.8 per cent of his 95 shots, which ranks better than two of his seasons in the Premier League (13.33 per cent in 2017-18 and 16.22 in 2019-20).

    Abraham has scored nine times from 13 Conference League appearances and he has proved many doubters wrong this season.

    With a place in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad later this year potentially up for grabs, playing a pivotal role in Roma's maiden European success would be some way to cap a fine campaign and seal his name in Giallorossi folklore.

  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid turn their attention to Raheem Sterling Rumour Has It: Real Madrid turn their attention to Raheem Sterling

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    The Spanish giants were widely regarded as favourites to land Mbappe until a late change of heart led to him signing a three-year extension to stay in France.

    Madrid and City went head to head in the Champions League semi-final, but they may find themselves talking business soon for the England international.

     

    TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS PREPARE BID FOR STERLING

    Sterling has spent seven seasons with City, racking up 131 goals in 338 appearances in all club competitions, and has played no fewer than 46 games in any of those campaigns.

    Despite this, his playing time waned in the closing stages of this season, culminating in the Champions League when he only played a combined 28 minutes across both fixtures against Madrid.

    Sterling set a record at the time for the most expensive transfer of an English player when he was sold to City for £44million plus add-ons in 2015, but Madrid are not looking to overshoot that number by much, with the Daily Star reporting they will offer £50million.

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Sky Sports, Sadio Mane fancies a move to Bayern Munich in the upcoming transfer window.

    – The Telegraph is reporting Tottenham will sign six players, heavily investing in an attempt to convince Antonio Conte to stay.

    – The Telegraph is also reporting one player high on Tottenham's wish-list is Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, who also has strong interest from Arsenal.

    Arsenal will try to sell as many as seven first-team players in the upcoming transfer window – with Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno named by The Sun. The Telegraph added that Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is a key target for the Gunners.

    – The Times is reporting Leeds United are set to sign 21-year-old USA international Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for £23m.

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