Jose Mourinho’s subtle Mauricio Pochettino dig made his thoughts on PSG role clear

Jose Mourinho has already made his feelings clear on the Paris Saint-Germain job after fresh reports emerged linking the Portuguese boss to the French club.

The Portuguese boss led Roma to the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy against Feyenoord to end an underwhelming debut campaign at the Italian capital club on a memorable note. Mourinho has now been linked to replace the under-pressure Mauricio Pochettino in the Parc des Princes hotseat this summer.

Pochettino led PSG to a comprehensive Ligue 1 title this season but that did not tell the full story as the Argentine was booed by large sections of the home crowd when his name was read out ahead of kick-off in the title celebrations match amid reports that he is set to leave the club this summer.

Under-fire PSG boss Pochettino had initially been the favourite to land the Manchester United job, as revealed in February, with the Old Trafford hierarchy identifying the Argentine as a leading candidate for the role. That revelation was later fleshed out by Mirror Football reporting that the Argentine was the preferred candidate among the players in United’s dressing room – but the club subsequently confirmed the appointment of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

It was Pochettino’s side’s underperformance in Europe this campaign that eventually saw his prospects at the club unravel entirely. They exited at the Round of 16 stage to Real Madrid – continuing their drought in the Champions League. That is a competition that Mourinho has won with Porto and Inter, while he has now won five European titles altogether across four clubs.

The expectations at PSG were ramped up even further this season following the arrivals of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Nuno Mendes, Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Mourinho pointedly highlighted this last summer, when asked if he was happy with the squad of players he had available to him: “Do you know of any coach that is completely satisfied with his squad? Maybe Pochettino, but nobody else!”

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Pochettino and Mourinho were rivals during their spells in the Premier League


Pochettino and Mourinho were rivals during their spells in the Premier League
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Getty Images)

As with most managers, Mourinho has a bit of a history with Pochettino. When replacing the Argentine at Tottenham in November 2019, Mourinho said: “Mauricio has had four very good years at Spurs, brings them to the final for the Champions League, and he’s still waiting for the first trophy of his career.

“I feel very sorry for Mauricio but I think the English supporter is very loyal and they know when people give everything. They are a bit different than in other countries when everything is just about winning. I think the Tottenham fans are proud of their team. They still look to this team and this manager as a historical team for them.”

Mourinho may be unwilling to walk away from his position at Roma despite leading them to an underwhelming sixth-placed finish in Serie A this campaign. Any more to PSG would bring immediate pressure for success both domestically and in Europe.

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