Roma have sacked Jose Mourinho, with the club languishing in ninth place in Serie A.
His final game in charge was Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to AC Milan – which a suspended Mourinho had to watch from the stands – meaning the Stadio Olympico-based outfit had won just one of their past six league games, while they were also dumped out of the Coppa Italia by arch-rivals Lazio last week.In total, Roma have won just eight of their 20 matches in Serie A this season and sit behind the likes of Bologna, Atalanta and Fiorentina in the race for European qualification.
Despite him asking for a new contract – after ex-Chelsea and Man United boss was repeatedly sent off and led his team down to ninth in the table
In a statement, Roma owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin said: ‘We would like to thank Jose on behalf of all of us at AS Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival at the club.’We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma, but we believe that an immediate change is in the best interests of the club.
We understand Daniele De Rossi is the favourite to replace Mourinho as head coach.Talks are underway with the 40-year old who though he made over 600 appearances in Roma’s midfield, has limited coaching experience having worked with the Italian federation and Serie B side SPAL who sacked him a year ago.Former Chelsea and Spurs boss Antonio Conte and Graham Potter, also formerly of Chelsea and Brighton, are also being considered.Potter, 48, has been biding his time awaiting the best project ahead of making his return to management after a highly promising start. He is also understood to be in Manchester United’s thoughts should they make a change on manager.Mourinho joined Roma in May 2021 and spent two-and-a-half years in the role, leading them to the Europa Conference League title in 2022 when they beat Feyenoord, which was the club’s first European trophy since 1961.He also guided them to the Europa League final last season, before they were defeated by Sevilla on penalties.
Mourinho’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season and there had been increasingly speculation surrounding his future before Roma’s announcement on Tuesday. However, over recent weeks, he had outlined his desire to stay at the club, with the 60-year-old rubbishing speculation linking him with Saudi Arabia.Speaking after a 2-0 defeat to Bologna on December 17, Mourinho said: ‘I want to continue at Roma. And if I stay at Roma we’ve got to really think hard about the financial fair play limitations we have, because maybe it’s better to work with younger players and give them some chances.’That could present an opportunity for development, compared to players who have nothing left to develop. I want to continue and I’m open to a new approach.’ The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss won 68 of his 138 matches in charge, but was repeatedly at the centre of disciplinary problems.Just last week, Mourinho was dismissed for the second match in a row after a violent and chaotic Rome derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-final which his side lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Lazio. The Portuguese coach had already accumulated a mammoth five red cards in total during 2023-24, which follows the three dismissals he received in 2022-23.
While Mourinho remained largely revered among Roma supporters following their European success, he only managed to lead them to two sixth-place finishes after spending heavily in his first season at the club.This included the additions of the likes of Rui Patricio, Tammy Abraham, Roger Ibanez and Matias Vina for an outlay of more than £100m, and has meant his attempts to strengthen in recent windows have been hampered by FFP constraints. Mourinho departing midway through his third season will remind fans of his similar struggles at previous clubs.
During his second spell at Chelsea and his time with Man United, Mourinho left during his third full campaign at the club. He leaves with Roma in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table, while they are 22 points behind leaders Inter Milan and 13 off AC Milan following Sunday’s defeat. Roma’s on-pitch struggles have been accompanied by increasing outbursts from ‘the special one’, with Mourinho dubbing himself ‘Jose ‘Harry Potter’ Mourinho’ after his side were knocked out of the Coppa Italia to Lazio.’The Roma fans are the most incredible I have seen. Their coach is Jose ‘Harry Potter’ Mourinho and he raises expectations,’ Mourinho said last week.’I don’t know how many derbies I’ve played, 200, 150, they are always special matches. I’ve won, I’ve drawn, I’ve lost, always with a different experience.’I have always understood that for a Chelsea fan, a game against Manchester City is not the same as a game against Arsenal. That for Inter, a game against Roma is not the same as a game against Juventus