The enigmatic coach will not be on the touchline for Roma’s 2023-24 Serie A opener against Salernitana on August 24. That is because he has been given a 10-day ban for branding Daniele Chiffi “the worst” referee he had ever seen following a lively fixture back in May. While Mourinho has grown accustomed to incurring the wrath of football authorities, with a UEFA suspension also coming his way, he intends to make the most of his latest enforced break as he relaxes in more comfortable surroundings.
Mourinho has told reporters of being stung with another ban: “I am not surprised by anything. With this heat in August, rather than sit on the bench I will be somewhere nice and cool with air conditioning!” Mourinho will be hoping to see Roma – a side he led to Europa Conference League glory in 2022 and the Europa League final last season – get off to a flyer against Salernitana, but it remains to be seen whether Paulo Dybala is available to him. The Argentine World Cup winner has been linked with Chelsea amid talk of a €12 million (£10m/$13m) exit clause being activated, but Mourinho has said of that speculation: “I don’t know anything about his contract. But obviously I talk to Paulo like I do with all of my players.” Mourinho has been hit with a four-game ban by UEFA as a result of his behaviour towards Premier League match official Anthony Taylor in the 2023 Europa League final – which Roma lost on penalties to Sevilla – while he collected three red cards during the 2022-23 campaign.