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Roma director react to Mourinho- Portugal links

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Mourinho is among the candidates to replace Fernando Santos as the next Portugal manager.

Roma director Tiago Pinto believes Jose Mourinho will stay at Olimpico despite ongoing links with Portugal.

Mourinho’s home country parted ways with Fernando Santos after an underwhelming campaign in the 2022 World Cup.

The Roma manager has emerged as one of the main options to replace Santos. Mourinho’s current deal at Olimpico expires in June 2024, with Pinto being confident the Portuguese boss will continue his project at the club.

“When you get a coach like Mourinho, you must be accustomed to rumours,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“This was the first time in 18 months that a club or a federation were interested in him. We had no distractions at our training camp in the Algarve, we were only focused on work.

“I am Portuguese and every time we change coach, Mourinho is mentioned, but we count on him for the future.”

Under Mourinho, Roma claimed their first-ever European title last season. The Giallorosssi boss came under fire for forcing defender Rick Karsdorp to leave the club.

Following a 1-1 draw with Sassuolo in November, Mourinho branded Karsdorp as a “traitor”. His comments triggered a heated response from footballers’ trade union FIFPRO, but Pinto backs the manager’s decision.

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“After Sassuolo and Mourinho’s words, the player committed serious professional misconduct by not showing up for training and travelling to Japan with the squad,” Pinto added.

“We avoided controversy by working internally with the player’s entourage. Ricky is back, he has trained and played.

“FIFPRO made a statement without even talking to Roma. Karsdorp has never been frozen out of the team, despite not showing up twice.

“These things happen in football, but many have forgotten about the best version of Karsdorp, who has started 60 games in 18 months under Mourinho.”