Mauricio Pochettino replacement – Jose Mourinho makes stance clear on possible return to Chelsea 

Mauricio Pochettino replacement – Jose Mourinho makes stance clear on possible return to Chelsea

Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim has shrugged off comparisons to Jose Mourinho as speculation over his future continues. The 39-year-old has been strongly linked with Chelsea previously and is thought to be among their possible options to replace Mauricio Pochettino should he leave the club in the summer.

The Blues will be far from the only side looking to end Amorim’s love affair at Sporting, though. Liverpool also have the former Braga coach as one of their standout candidates as they seek an alternative to Xabi Alonso after he committed himself to Bayer Leverkusen for at least another season.

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are just two of the other sides in Europe certain to be seeking a new head coach, with that list likely to get bigger depending on activity at Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle, and Napoli, just to name a few.

Amorim has so far remained bullish about leaving Portugal though, admitting previously to having interest in him from clubs across the continent.”The main factor is because I really like being here,” he 12 months ago when linked with taking over at Chelsea from Graham Potter and also at Tottenham once Antonio Conte was sacked. “And then, I’ve seen many coaches move to other leagues and not be happier.

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“It sounds a bit cliché, but I think it’s an important factor in the decision [to be happy]. And I’m not looking for anything. And by the way, I want to value what I have and not what is said. And it’s been said so many times.”

Last month he added: “”I’m not going to dwell on my future, I’ve already said what I had to say. Every time I talk about it the topic comes up again.”

With Sporting on their way towards what would be a second league title under his charge – adding to two league cups since taking over in March 2020 – he has drawn comparisons to one of Chelsea’s favourite sons. Not only due to his exploits in the country but also his style of football and charm as a young coach, Amorim has been described as ‘The Special One 2″ by some.

Unsurprisingly he isn’t keen on the tag. “It makes no sense and I have no illusions about it,” he said. “I still remember last year everyone was speculating about whether I was going to leave Sporting. There are no comparisons between the great Jose Mourinho and the Sporting coach.”

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Mourinho himself left Portugal – and Porto – with two top-division league titles. He also lifted the Champions League trophy in 2004 after claiming the UEFA Super Cup 12 months earlier, moving to Chelsea with his stock at the highest point.

Currently, it is Liverpool who are able to directly speak with Amorim due to their public need for a new boss. Chelsea have made no such move to dismiss Pochettino at this stage with the head coach’s position set to be assessed come the end of the season.

The Blues sit 11th in the Premier League with 10 games left. Pochettino is within reach of an outside European place but was dealt another blow in his attempts to win over fans after drawing 2-2 with Burnley on Saturday despite the visitors playing more than half of the game with 10 men.

The real Mourinho is one of those tipped to replace him in the summer with many expecting a parting of the ways. He has been out of a job since January when Roma sacked him.

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“I’m ready to start and sometimes when you end in a club you feel the need of a rest, of a think, you know, process things,” he said of taking up another post last month to Fabrizio Romano.

“In this case, one day after I left I was ready to go.” He also added: “I feel strong, I feel good,” he said. “I love the work, I’m really ready but I don’t want to make the wrong choice. I cannot accept something just becasue of the feeling and because of the passion to be back so I have to be patient.”

Some supporters have already made their continued admiration for Mourinho clear, singing his name during a similarly frustrating 2-2 draw against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium before the international break. To many, Mourinho is still an image of the former Chelsea and would deliver a sense of identity and stong personality judged to be missing from the current setup.

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