Jose Mourinho confirms two Saudi rejections and clarifies Roma release clause

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Jose Mourinho confirms two Saudi rejections and clarifies Roma release clause
Jose Mourinho confirms two Saudi rejections and clarifies Roma release clause

Jose Mourinho has revealed he's rejected two huge money offers from Saudi Arabia in order to remain in charge at Roma - and also confirmed that Paulo Dybala's release clause has expired.

The self-dubbed 'Special One' took over at the Italian club at the start of the 2021/22 campaign, leading them to Europa Conference League glory in his first season in charge. And he took the Italians to the brink of European glory in his second campaign, losing on penalties to Sevilla in the Europa League final.

But that defeat prompted the latest in a long line of extraordinary outbursts from the Portuguese boss, who directed his anger at referee Anthony Taylor. And amid unsavoury scenes, Mourinho was charged by UEFA after approaching the official in the car park afterwards and using abusive language.

It resulted in a four-game UEFA ban, and furthermore, cast doubt over his future at Roma. Indeed, Mourinho was heavily touted to take over at PSG following the sacking of Christophe Galtier, but the Ligue 1 champions ultimately opted for Luis Enrique.

And now Mourinho, 60, has claimed there was also interest from the Saudi Pro League: "I’ve received two proposals: Al Hilal and Al Ahli wanted me, I decided to turn both down as I want to stay at Roma”, he told Corriere dello Sport .

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Despite the financial restrictions on him, Mourinho also implied he relished the backs-to-the-wall challenge: “Not everything is going well, but I also enjoy the difficulties," he added. "I get angry for an hour and immediately after that I come back positive. I don’t get depressed, I don’t threaten, I don’t say that they promised me heaven and earth and I don’t see the heavens or the mountains."

Jose Mourinho confirms two Saudi rejections and clarifies Roma release clauseJose Mourinho has turned down offers from Saudi Arabia (Getty Images)

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And a big factor in his decision would have centred around key forward Dybala. The Argentinian World Cup winner had also been heavily linked with a move away in the transfer window, with Thiago Silva openly admitting he'd tried to persuade the 29-year-old to join Chelsea.

Speculation mounted when Dybala travelled to London and was spotted at the F1 Grand Prix in Silverstone, but the star himself promptly played down rumours, saying: ‘I’m motivated for pre-season, which we’re starting tomorrow," he said. "My future? I’m happy at Roma. I’m staying here."

And the prospect of a move materialising is now remote, after Mourinho added: “Paulo Dybala’s release clause has expired on August 1 - so I can finally sleep well and more relaxed."

Roma's Serie A campaign gets underway on Sunday, August 20, with a home game against US Salernitana. It will again be Europa League football for Mourinho and co this season, amid a sixth placed finish last season.

Fraser Watson

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