Jose Mourinho heads the list of names being considered in Portugal to succeed Fernando Santos as national coach, a position for which the current Roma coach has expressed interest on several occasions.
Santos, 68, left the “quinas” this Thursday after eight years, in which he won the Euro Cup in France in 2016 and the League of Nations in 2019, the first absolute trophies for Portugal.
His successor is now the subject of much speculation in the country, where the names most talked about by the local press are Mourinho and Rui Jorge, current coach of the Portuguese sub-21.
Leonardo Jardim, French champion with Monaco and currently at Saudi Al Ahli, Abel Ferreira, at Brazilian Palmeiras, or Bruno Lage, without a club after leaving English Wolverhampton, are other names mentioned.
But the favourite, and the one that currently occupies the most space in the Portuguese media, is José Mourinho. With a contract with Roma until 2024, several possibilities are being considered.
One of them would be to assume both positions at the same time, something that the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) already proposed when Mourinho was coaching Real Madrid.
The Portuguese coach came to accept, but the white president, Florentino Pérez, did not authorize it. Upon reflection, Mourinho himself admitted in a 2014 interview that “it wouldn’t be possible” and that “it’s not even ethical.”
Another scenario raised by the Portuguese press is that Rui Jorge will take charge of the team on an interim basis until Mourinho ends the season at the Italian club and then negotiate his termination with the Roman emblem.
Rui Jorge has been in charge of the Portuguese under-21 since 2011, so he knows the new generation of emerging players or already established in the absolute, such as Gonçalo Ramos, João Félix or Rafael Leão.
As a player, Jorge was a seven-time Portuguese champion, five with Porto and twice with Sporting de Portugal.
The former left-back met at the Verdiblanco club with the now former coach, Fernando Santos, and even with a young Cristiano Ronaldo, while at the “dragons” he met Mourinho, then assistant to the emblematic English coach Bobby Robson.
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