Journalist reports Celtic approached Jose Mourinho; it's not happening

By Euan Davidson

April 23, 2021

Journalist Duncan Castles has claimed Celtic have made contact with Jose Mourinho.

The former Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss left Tottenham earlier this week [BBC]. A wildly successful but hugely divisive figure, Mourinho’s stock has fallen over recent years.

Scurrilous rumours have emerged over the last week, with Celtic moving at a glacial pace to replace Neil Lennon. The former Celtic manager left his post in February. John Kennedy has filled in since, coaching the Bhoys to massive victories against Livingston and Falkirk, but a disappointing defeat at Ibrox.

Speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, Castles said:

“My information is that the first of those approaches came from Celtic Football Club who are in need of significant managerial change and are in need of a change of fortune to get themselves back on top of the heap in Scotland after Steven Gerrard guided Rangers to the Scottish title by a significant margin.

“My understanding is that his response to that approach from Celtic – not ready to coach now. There have been other offers.”

Roma and Valencia are also said to be keen on the Portuguese manager.

Let’s be honest, this never looked likely /
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Would Jose Mourinho have been a good fit for Celtic?

After Brendan Rodgers left Liverpool, he immediately rehabilitated his career at Celtic Park. An unbeaten season and clean sweep of domestic trophies will do that.

Mourinho finds himself in a relatively similar position. His last spell at a Premier League club didn’t go to plan, and a once-heralded manager has become a figure of fun. Despite winning Champions Leagues and multiple league titles, Mourinho could take over at crisis club Valencia.

But would he have even been a good fit at Celtic? Naturally a pragmatist, he would at least set us up well defensively. However, that comes at a price; not since his first spell at Chelsea has a Mourinho side played properly slick, attacking football. He’s a by-any-means necessary coach, not the kind of aesthete Celtic require.

Not that we’re turning our collective noses up at him, given his history, but there’s also the dressing room factor. Mourinho has systematically alienated top players at almost every club he’s been at. He brings a siege mentality that might not necessarily suit the Celtic board.

That, and his astronomical wages, of course. It’s a sign of ambition from the board, if Castles’ reporting is correct. And that’s something to take away from this experience.

This never, ever looked on. Some form of confirmation of that means we can move on.

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