Sport

Jose Mourinho ‘holds talks’ with NFF over becoming Nigeria manager

Jose Mourinho has reportedly ‘held talks’ over the vacant manager’s role of the Nigerian national team ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, according to the president of the Nigerian Football Federation.

Nigeria recently sacked Gernot Rohr ahead of the tournament which begins on January 9 in Cameroon and are now looking to the ‘Special One’ to try and guide them to glory.

And the head of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick has said that he will look to make an appointment by next week as he listed out what he is looking for with his new manager, with Mourinho seemingly fitting the criteria.

“The emphasis on the new coach is discipline. We will look at his antecedents on discipline,” he told the local news outlet, the Daily Trust.

“Secondly, we will also look at how hungry he is to win trophies because if they are hungry it supersedes so many things and if he wants to win he will instil discipline.

“We will look at all these things but I cannot make a pronouncement emphatically because I will be undermining my executive committee.

“So, until my executive committee comes out within the next week or so to say this is the name because the technical committee has to bring their presentation to the executive committee.

The president then added that he has spoken to three high-profile coaches as he name-dropped Mourinho into the conversation.

He said: “We have spoken to three top coaches and [Jose] Peseiro, whose name has been going around, is one of the coaches and I can tell you he is a top coach.”

“Of course Mourinho, I am not going to tell you we didn’t talk to Mourinho because we did and the [sports] minister also talked to Mourinho and there is nothing wrong with it.

“The coach will give us the Nations Cup, he will be drafted in immediately. I am not going to tell you that it will be later, because of what essence is the recruitment? If the executive committee says yes and we are ready, what are we waiting for?”

While it seems unlikely in the short-term that Mourinho would leave Serie A side AS Roma just six months into his three-year deal, the 58-year-old has previously said he would welcome an opportunity at international level once he feels he can no longer manager domestically.

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