Roma’s Reality Different From City’s – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho


Roma boss, Jose Mourinho, rued the financial constrains he is bound by at the Serie A club and added that his side’s “reality is different” to that of Manchester City.

While the Italian side did spend upwards of €100 million ($109m) in Mourinho’s first season at the club, they’ve spent just €9.5m on transfers across the last two seasons to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.

First-choice center back Roger Ibañez was sold to Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli in August to help balance the books, and it’s also why Romelu Lukaku and Renato Sanches, their two marquee signings this summer, arrived on loan deals.

The limited spending power coupled with long-term injuries to striker Tammy Abraham and defender Chris Smalling has left Roma struggling in fourth place in the Serie A. Center-back Evan Ndicka’s departure for the African Cup of Nations in January will leave the defence further depleted.

Mourinho is keen to bolster the squad in the January transfer window but understands the difficulty Roma will face in doing so.

“Not that I’m jealous, but Man City paid €80 million ($87m) for [Kalvin] Phillips and now Pep [Guardiola] has said it would be better for him to leave in January. So he’ll leave and they’ll get someone else,” Mourinho said in his news conference ahead of Roma’s Europa League clash with Sheriff.

“Our reality is very different. We’d like one, two, three or four new players. Tiago [Pinto] too. And the owners too. We all want to try and improve the team, to make us better for the second half of the season.

“However, it’s not easy for us to do that. I’ll be honest, if we bring in a defender in January, I’ll already be happy. But if you ask me if I’d like more than that, of course I’d like more. But it’s not possible. They’re working to try to give me options, to give me a defender.”

Phillips, who City actually signed for €49 million in 2022, made only his second start for the club this season in their 3-2 win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday and scored a penalty. Sources told ESPN last month that Newcastle United are lining up a move for the England midfielder.