Roma sent shockwaves through the football world yesterday by surprisingly hiring José Mourinho shortly after announcing that Paulo Fonseca will leave the club at the end of the season. The move was born after the coach got sacked by Tottenham and the two sides were able to close the deal in a hurry because of significant mutual interest, Corriere della Sera and Gianluca Di Marzio report.
CEO Tiago Pinto first contacted Valdir, the right-hand man of the super-agent Jorge Mendes, to test the waters. Once he saw an opening, owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin flew to London for a summit at the gaffer’s house and quickly reached an agreement before the recent collapse versus Manchester United.
Mourinho inked a three-year contract, which will allow the club to save on taxes thanks to the Decreto Crescita, which massively lowers them for foreigners moving to Italy. He will make €7M plus bonuses per year, but he will get €9M until June 2022 from Tottenham as part of his severance package.
Roma will now look to gradually return among the title contenders thanks to the manager’s leadership but will not necessarily splurge in the transfer market right away. The connection with Jorge Mendes will be a factor. Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti may return as the Portuguese coach likes to have club’s legends helping him out. The early candidate to be his lead assistant is Walter Samuel, who is currently part of the staff of the Argentinian national team.
He will reunite with some familiar faces in the Giallorossi roster, such as Chris Smalling, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with whom the relationship got sour, Davide Santon and Pedro, Gazzetta dello Sport points out.