Mourinho says priority remains Roma, not Brazil

ROME: Roma coach Jose Mourinho has dismissed any notion of becoming Brazil's next manager, saying his allegiance is with his Italian Serie A side.

"Brazil haven't spoken to me directly," he said after Roma's Italian Cup last 16 win on Wednesday evening.

"I told my agent not to speak to anyone before we know if Roma want me to stay on or not," added the Portuguese.

"I don't believe in the rumours linking other managers to this job. I've got confidence in the Friedkin Group (Roma's American owners).

"I don't doubt their honesty and I've got no reason to think they are negotiating with other coaches behind my back," he continued.

The 60-year-old Mourinho took over the reins at Roma in July, 2021, with his current contract due to expire in June.

He led the Italian capital side to sixth in Serie A in the past two seasons, and won the inaugural Europa League Conference title in 2022, making it to the Europa League final last term.

With Roma placed seventh, 17 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan, Mourinho has publicly criticised the quality and depth of his squad.

He has had to be restrained in the transfer market due to the club being under financial fairplay restrictions.

Brazil meanwhile are suffering one of the worst crises in their long and stellar history, with the Selecao only sixth in South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

Last week Carlo Ancelotti, who Brazil were hoping to appoint as their new manager, announced he was staying put at Real Madrid, extending his contract at the Spanish giants until 2026. --AFP

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