New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho could be plying his trade elsewhere in Britain had circumstances worked out differently earlier this year.
Football Insider reported that Celtic had approached the 56-year-old about taking the managerial reins at Parkhead, only to be rebuffed by the Portuguese native.
According to Football Insider, the Hoops had approached Mourinho about coming to Glasgow at the end of last season when Neil Lennon was still in an interim manager position, only for him to reject Celtic’s offer, with the Scottish champions instead hiring Lennon on a permanent basis.
Mourinho spoke highly of Celtic in an interview with The Coaches’ Voice this summer when reflecting on the Hoops’ team and fans in the 2003 UEFA Cup final, in which his Porto team narrowly overcame the Glaswegian club.
That is one of four major European trophies on the 56-year-old’s CV, with two Champions League triumphs to his name, while his involvement in 10 league title successes across four countries also speaks volumes about his pedigree. [via TransferMarkt]
However, Mourinho can be a combustible character with a habit of falling out with players. He had a thorny relationship with Paul Pogba during his time at Manchester United, as per The Telegraph, while he was also strongly critical of Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw in public.
He also accused Chelsea players of betraying him during the dying embers of his Stamford Bridge reign in 2015, while Sid Lowe wrote in The Guardian of how he had a “fraught relationship” with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid.
Lennon has also been publicly critical of players at Celtic, having not taken kindly to Olivier Ntcham’s interview with L’Equipe in the summer in which he said he was disappointed not to have finalised a potential move to Porto in 2018.
However, shortly after that episode, the Hoops manager then came out and said that he and Ntcham had cleared the air (as per Daily Record), which would suggest that Lennon can crack the whip but is keen to keep players on-side rather than letting bad moods fester.
Mourinho may have an excellent managerial pedigree, but the regularity with which he chastises players in public and falls out with some is alarming.
In the meantime, Lennon has repaid Celtic’s faith in him by keeping the Hoops on course for a ninth successive Premiership title, along with getting them into the Europa League knockout rounds with ease, boosting their continental reputation after some harrowing European defeats to the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in recent years.
With the 48-year-old doing a fine job at Parkhead, there is no need for a sense of regret about Mourinho turning Celtic down.
Celtic fans, would you like to have had Mourinho as manager or are you glad that he rejected the Hoops’ job offer this year? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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