Jose Mourinho could not hide his affection for Newcastle United as he heaped praise on head coach Eddie Howe.
The Portuguese boss has spoken previously of feeling “connected” to the St James’ Park club after being Sir Bobby Robson’s assistant at Porto and Barcelona.
Indeed, Mourinho had the opportunity to join Robson on Tyneside in 1999 but opted to explore his own managerial path. And through title wins at the likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, has become one of the most successful managers in world football.
Now in charge of Roma, where he has guided the Serie A giants to the final of the Europa Conference League, Mourinho was briefly linked the with the vacancy on Tyneside in November before Eddie Howe was appointed.
Mourinho on Newcastle & Howe
And Mourinho has taken note of how Howe has done, revealing his delight at how things are progressing under the new Saudi Arabian-led regime.
“I learnt what Newcastle is and how to like the club very much through Sir Bobby’s eyes and heart,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.”
“I’m very happy that they found their stability. Eddie (Howe) is doing good work, the club gave the tools for a change in the January market and I wish them the best.”
Because of Mourinho’s open affinity to Newcastle, fans have often wondered if one day the 59-year-old will manage their club.
Of course, no supporter currently is even considering another manager, and no doubt are aligned with the new owners’ vision of Howe hopefully becoming Newcastle’s very own Sir Alex Ferguson.
What next for Mourinho?
But in the future, what’s next for Mourinho?
He said: “In this moment, everything is very calm because I have two more years of contract. The club didn’t approach me to try to extend so they don’t put me in a situation of accept or don’t accept. Everything is calm, stable and that is the way it has to be.
“I have to finish the season as best we can and 100 per cent start next season because I am not looking for a change, my people know that. I couldn’t leave the club in my second season, I couldn’t do that to the club. So next season I am here.”