That Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes has been approached by the FA is confirmed (or so say the Guardian). But he would be among a few. At the moment the FA is still uncertain to whom to hand the baton to take England to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and it is this uncertainly that is at the heart of a plethora of allegations making the rounds in English and European press.
But the FA have been prompt to deny that they have approached Mourinho or any other eligible candidate. The FA are not exactly denying that they are carefully scrutinizing Mourinho’s CV but they do have refuted all newspaper claims that Mourinho has been offered the job.
This is what the FA’s director of communication, Adrian Bevington, had to say about the matter:
I can’t answer what Jose Mourinho’s diary arrangements are but what I can say is he is certainly not flying in to meet with the FA today. We have got no plans to meet with Jose Mourinho today to discuss the England job. That is not on the agenda. I can’t comment what Jose Mourinho’s travel arrangements are in his private life, that is another issue in itself and one for Jose and his private advisors, in the same way that I wouldn’t be able to comment about any other potential manager.
The FA are believed to have drawn up a shortlist of 5 to 6 candidates whom they suppose would be capable enough of taking charge of a talented but somewhat misfiring England side. Mourinho’s come-and-get-me-plea has become a tortured cliché but he does seem to be the first person on FA chief Brian Barwick’s mind.
Fabio Capello has already exhibited his interest in taking up the England challenge although he might have forgotten at the time that he can’t speak English. Jurgen Klinsmann is another name thrown into the hat but it could be difficult for the English people to embrace a coach who prefers to lead from across the Atlantic. Martin O’Neill? He is playing down his chances but there’s no doubt that should the FA find no other person on whose neck to wound the England albatross, O’Neill could very likely find himself in a not so comfortable position as the national coach of England. O’Neill, if you need telling, is Northern Irish.
The fingers are all crossed then. But the confirmation that a likely candidate has indeed officially approached, or be it through his agent, indicates that the FA are not just idling their time in hatching nondescriptive plans.