* Spurs saved payment of £16m compensation to the Portuguese
Jose Mourinho has made a rapid return to management with Roma announcing he will take over for the 2021-22 season.
The Portuguese boss, 58, has signed a three-year deal that will run through to 2024. It also ushers in a return to Serie A for Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter Milan in a two-year spell at the San Siro from 2008 until 2010.
UK’s Sportsmailunderstands that Roma’s emphatic 6-2 defeat by Manchester United in the Europa League last week speeded up the arrival of Mourinho.
Mourinho being available and ready to start was also appealing to Roma, with the Friedkin family who own the club looking to appoint the best free coach to replace Paolo Fonseca and avoid paying out millions in compensation.
Roma announced earlier yesterday that Fonseca will be leaving at the end of the season.
They had initially made a move for Maurizio Sarri, the former Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli boss, but ditched him in favour of Mourinho. The Portuguese boss wasted no time in sorting out an appropriate phone case for his next step in management.
Mourinho celebrated the news by posting a picture of a case in Roma’s colours with the initials ‘JM’ onto his Instagram page on Tuesday afternoon alongside the caption: ‘My new phone cover.’
Mourinho’s Roma appointment will benefit Tottenham’s books, as well. If Mourinho had remained unemployed, he would have been due £16m with the remaining 18 months of his Spurs contract to be payed out.
Now, he will get around eight weeks’ worth as it intertwines with him heading to Roma, costing Spurs in the region of £1.5m instead.
Mourinho said: ‘Thank you to the Friedkin family (Roma’s owners) for choosing me to lead this great club and to be part of their vision.
‘After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto (Roma’s general manager), I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma. It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years.
‘The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.
‘In the meantime, I wish Paulo Fonseca all the best and I hope the media appreciate that I will only speak further in due course. Daje Roma!’
In the meantime, Mourinho will be working for radio station talkSPORT across the summer with their coverage of Euro 2020.
Roma sit seventh in the Serie A standings and were thrashed 6-2 by United in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at Old Trafford last week. The return leg in Italy is on Thursday.
Club president Dan Friedkin and vice-president Ryan Friedkin said: ‘We are thrilled and delighted to welcome Jose Mourinho into the AS Roma family.
‘A great champion who has won trophies at every level, Jose will provide tremendous leadership and experience to our ambitious project.
‘The appointment of Jose is a huge step in building a long-term and consistent winning culture throughout the club.’
General manager Pinto revealed that Roma weighed up a move for Mourinho as soon as news emerged that Tottenham had sacked him.
‘When Jose became available, we immediately jumped at the chance to speak with one of the greatest managers of all time,’ Pinto said.
‘We were blown away by Jose’s desire to win and his passion for the game: no matter how many trophies he has won, his primary focus is always on the next one. He possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to compete at all levels.
‘We know that in order to build a successful sporting project it takes time, patience and the right people in the right positions. We are supremely confident that Jose will be the perfect coach for our project, for both our immediate and long-term future.’
His appointment means a reunion with two of his former Manchester United players in Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He didn’t enjoy the most seamless of relationships with defender Smalling during his time at Old Trafford.
Mourinho once appeared to publicly question his resilience, suggesting he was ‘too cautious’ in his recovery from a toe injury while playmaker Mkhitaryan just last week said he found it hard to get to grips with Mourinho’s way of working.
‘I never regret my decisions,’ Mkhitaryan told The Athletic. ‘At that time, he (Mourinho) was one of the most successful coaches in the world. I think he was the coach with the most trophies. So that was a different experience.
‘It was very hard but I learned a lot as well. I learned how to defend, how to help the team. It was not only about scoring goals and making assists.
‘It was more about the team winning so it doesn’t matter who scored, we had to win together. It didn’t matter who made the assist we must always be happy that we won the game.
‘What I want to say is that I had a hard time but after the first two or three months there, I had a very good time. I won three trophies with the club, which was amazing.
‘You know, some players have been playing in Manchester for ages but they haven’t won anything.’
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy ruthlessly axed Mourinho on the Monday before the Carabao Cup final, which ended in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City. Levy has placed former Spurs player Ryan Mason in charge for the rest of the season but no announcement on Mourinho’s permanent successor has been made,
Mourinho won 45 out of his 86 games as Tottenham manager, drawing 17 and losing 24.