Transfer requests and line-up: how will Mourinho change Roma?

José Mourinho reportedly wants at least three signings at Roma, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan faces an uncertain future.

Roma suddenly announced the appointment of the Special One today. The Portuguese tactician returns to Serie A after he left Inter in 2010.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Mourinho has already decided his transfer targets for the summer.

The 58-year-old wants a new goalkeeper, a striker to back-up Edin Dzeko, who is expected to remain at the club, and a centre midfielder. Mourinho is aware the Giallorossi won’t be able to make big-money signings in the summer.

Several other reports in Italy, including one of ForzaRoma.info, suggest the future of Henrikh Mkhitaryan is now uncertain.

The Armenian star will see his contract expire at the end of the season.

Last year, the former Manchester United midfielder claimed Mourinho is the ‘most complicated’ coach he’s had in his career.

“[My relationship] with Mourinho was the most complicated in my career; he is a winner by nature,” he told Yevgeny Savin.

“He wants you to win and you do what he asks you, it is difficult for anyone.

“There were differences and conflicts, but they did not have a big impact on the hard work we did and the three trophies we won.”

Mourinho has also coached Chris Smalling and Pedro who are both part of Roma’s current team.

In 2017, The Special One revealed he had joked with the English defender before the Europa League Final against Ajax.

“We wanted to create instability. We would let them play out from the back while blocking De Ligt, their right centre-back, making them play through Davinson Sanches who had more trouble,” Mourinho said, according to Tribuna Expresso.

“We’d make our full back close down well that central space and if the ball entered a wide area for their winger, the full-back would close him down and Herrera would be the one covering that space in midfield.

“We prepare a game better when we’re aware of our own weaknesses. Everyone said Ajax played beautiful football and that the beauty of the game matters. I told my players that, for me, beautiful is not giving our opponents what they want. ‘I even joked with Smalling – ‘With your feet, we’re for sure not playing out from the back!’”

Back in 2015, Mourinho pushed to sign Pedro from Barcelona with the Spaniard who chose the Blues over Manchester United.

Pedro’s contract also expires in the summer, but Mourinho’s arrival in the Capital could lead to his permanence.

Alessandro Florenzi liked Roma’s Instagram post announcing Mourinho’s appointment and the Italian could return to his former club when his loan spell at PSG ends in June.

Mourinho is expected to use a 4-2-3-1 formation and according to Sky Sport Italia he will only move to Italy at the end of the season as he doesn’t want to misrespect Paulo Fonseca.

The latter will remain in charge of Roma for the last five games of the season.

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Season over for Pau Lopez

Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez will miss the remainder of the season, as he needs surgery on the left shoulder.

The Spanish shot stopper’s campaign ended at Old Trafford, when he was forced off in the first half of the 6-2 defeat to Manchester United due to a shoulder issue.

A consultation in Switzerland today has, according to SportItalia, revealed the need for surgery on the left shoulder.

The 26-year-old, who has played 21 Serie A games this term, will be operated this week and the report reveals he will miss the rest of the season.

Pau Lopez arrived from Real Betis in July 2019 and signed a deal until June 2024 with the Giallorossi.

Antonio Mirante, who seems set to leave the club after the season, replaced Pau Lopez in Manchester and is expected to start when the Red Devils arrive this week.

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Under-fire Fonseca meets Roma directors

Paulo Fonseca met Roma directors this morning, and several reports in Italy suggest the Portuguese could be sacked before the end of the season.

Roma sit seventh in the Serie A table and collected just four points in the last five Serie A games.

They also suffered an embarrassing 6-2 defeat in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Manchester United last week.

The coach’s agent Marco Abreu reportedly attended the meeting along with Roma’s owner Dan Friedkin and managing director Tiago Pinto.

The summit barely lasted one hour, according to reports.

Fonseca and Roma will part ways at the end of the season with Maurizio Sarri who has emerged as the leading candidate to take over at the Stadio Olimpico.

However, Roma’s recent poor form could lead the club to sack the Portuguese tactician before the end of the season.

IlRomanista and Calciomercato.com, don’t rule out the possibility of Fonseca’s sacking even if the Giallorossi don’t have many alternatives to the Portuguese coach.

If they sack Fonseca, they would need an interim coach willing to remain in charge only for the last five games of the season.

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Mancini: ‘Roma must apologise to fans’

Gianluca Mancini admits the defeat against Manchester United affected Roma, who ‘must apologise to fans.’

The Giallorossi lost 2-0 against Sampdoria last night, seeing the gap with the eighth-place reduced to two points.

They had lost 6-2 away at Old Trafford in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

“It’s clear that this is a difficult moment. The defeat against Manchester United affected us, and we could not react,” the defender told Sky Sport Italia.

“We deserved to lose and we must apologise to our fans. We have to remain quiet and try to find an escape route from this bad moment to end the season in the best possible way.

“It’s a problem when you are missing many quality players in a difficult league like the Serie A. However, we deserve this position in the table. We must only remain quiet.”

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Fonseca: ‘Roma couldn’t react’

Paulo Fonseca concedes Roma ‘didn’t have the energy to react’ in their 2-0 loss to Sampdoria and tries to explain their injury crisis.

The Giallorossi looked physically and emotionally drained from the start after their 6-2 Europa League semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

They did have the chance to get one back, but Edin Dzeko’s penalty was saved by Emil Audero, after Adrien Silva and Jakub Jankto goals.

“It is a difficult moment, but I think we had a good first half after the defeat in Manchester. The lads tried hard, then as the half was coming to an end, we conceded that goal that is becoming something of a habit for our team.

“We didn’t have the energy to react after the break, but it was a good first half,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“The loss in Manchester made its mark on us and it is difficult to get past it.”

Roma are now only two points clear of Sassuolo and risk losing seventh place too.

“Up until March, we were challenging in both Serie A and the Europa League. I don’t think we gave up on Serie A, it’s just that we came here missing 10 players. We’ve had injury issues since March and there are players who are difficult to replace.

“That was also a time when we had a lot of games in a short space of time, so missing big players made the difference.”

Almost all the Roma injuries are muscular, so what is causing this?

“I don’t think it’s a training issue. We have a lot of players who don’t have time to prepare and work their way back from injury. In Manchester, we had no option but to risk them.”

Fonseca was asked if Roma with the squad at his disposal should’ve done better this season.

“I remember at the start of the season there was a prediction on Sky and they said Roma would finish seventh. I do believe we could’ve done better, but we missed Zaniolo all season and for much of it Chris Smalling was out too. I think we could’ve done more with them.”

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