Early Targets and Tactics for the New-Look Roma of José Mourinho

José Mourinho will not land in Rome for a few weeks, but the speculations about his ideas and transfer market objectives are already running rampant. He will surely move on from the three-man defense and initially opt for his beloved 4-2-3-1 scheme, Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

Once healthy, Nicolò Zaniolo is set to be one of the pillars of the formation on the right flank, while Lorenzo Pellegrini will play in the hole. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been one of Paulo Fonseca’s most trusted guys, but he has yet to put pen-to-paper on his contract extension even though the club has already picked up their option. Moreover, he had a falling out with the Portuguese coach while they were together at Manchester United.

Leonardo Spinazzola, Jordan Veretout, Gianluca Mancini, and Chris Smalling will likely remain centerpieces, and also Rick Karsdorp, Roger Ibanez, Marash Kumbulla, Gonzalo Villar, and Bryan Cristante could retain meaningful roles. Cengiz Under might stay after a so-so loan spell at Leicester and be an alternative on the flanks, like Stephan El Shaarawy. The faith of Edin Dzeko, who was poised to depart, might change now.

Agent Jorge Mendes will help out in the transfer market. Roma are searching for a new starting goalkeeper and Wolverhampton’s Rui Patricio and Olympiakos’ Josè Sà will become real options, although they have been after Udinese’s Juan Musso for some time. Mourinho will likely push to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, whom he adores, or Eric Dier from Tottenham. Spurs striker Carlos Vinicius is also on the list.

The 56-year-old manager is not particularly keen on having a large roster and the Giallorossi will have to trim theirs, also due to their bloated payroll. He liked Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer when he was in London and might try to reunite with Manchester United’s midfielders Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata.