Roma head coach Jose Mourinho says he is not thinking about breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's mark for winning the most European competition games during the Champions League era.

Mourinho matched former Manchester United boss Ferguson with 106 victories in the Champions League and Europa League when he led Roma past HJK 2-1 in the Europa League last month.

Only Carlo Ancelotti has more victories (120), with the era dating back to the Champions League's introduction in 1992.

Ferguson and Mourinho had a tense rivalry during the Scot's latter days at Old Trafford, spawning from the Portuguese's breakout stint at Porto before regularly locking horns during his first spell at Chelsea.

The Portuguese, who led the Italian club to Conference League glory last term, can surpass the former Manchester United manager when Roma take on Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.

"It's not an extra motivation," Mourinho told reporters. "I am proud of the 106, and when the 107th arrives, either tomorrow or next week, I don't know, but when it comes it'll be a proud moment in my career.

"I've always said that I'll think about this kind of thing when I finish my career. When I finish my career I have so many things to think about and remember, but at this moment, no.

"Right now, the only thing that I am worried about is winning the next game, I'm always [thinking about] the next one and the next one is tomorrow.

"As I said before, it will certainly be difficult, it is a high-level game, very high. But there's no such thing as winning one more game than Sir Alex.

"This is not [why I want to win]. I want to win because we need to."

Mourinho has won 85 Champions League games and 21 Europa League games, compared to Ferguson's 105 wins in Europe's top club competition along with one UEFA Cup (Europa League) victory.

The former Inter, Real Madrid and Porto boss has two Champions League titles and two Europa League titles to his name, the latter with United. Ferguson, who retired in 2013, lifted the Champions League three times.

Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League four times, moved to 103 Champions League wins with Madrid's 2-1 triumph over Shakhtar Donetsk, while he has 13 Europa League wins too.

Chelsea's admiration of 23-year-old Milan forward Rafael Leao is not a secret.

The Blues, along with several other clubs including Manchester City, are keen on the Portuguese.

Chelsea have also been linked with Christopher Nkunku in recent days but are plotting ways to land Rafael Leao too.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA AND MILAN PLOTTING SWAP DEAL

Chelsea and Milan are considering a swap deal whereby Rafael Leao would join the Blues, claims Calciomercato.

Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi would be part of the deal, although the Italian champions would still demand a £90million fee for the Portuguese.

According to the report, Milan will use their Champions League game on Wednesday against the Blues at Stamford Bridge to talk with Pulisic, along with Trevoh Chalobah.

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is top of Chelsea's transfer wish list. The Hammers slapped a £120m price tag on the England international in the off-season, although that will likely drop as the length of his contract shortens.

– Football Insider claims Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle with 21-year-old winger Bukayo Saka on a new contract. Saka's current deal expires in 2024.

Everton are eager to use the option-to-buy trigger in Conor Coady's loan deal from Wolves, claims The Times. Coady would cost the Toffees less than £10m.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper could be sacked by owner Evangelos Marinakis, according to The Mail, with The Guardian linking Rafael Benitez with the role along with ex-Burnely boss Sean Dyche.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that former Inter and Lazio midfielder and Red Star boss Dejan Stankovic has reached a full agreement with Sampdoria to become the Italian Serie A club's new manager to replace the sacked Marco Giampaolo.

Jose Mourinho is set to be offered a new contract by Roma, potentially keeping him in the Italian capital until 2026, reports La Repubblica.

– Sport1 claims ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has declined the opportunity to take over at Bayer Leverkusen amid their poor start to the season.

Manchester United have already conceded 14 goals in seven Premier League games this season.

United boss Erik ten Hag is weighing up his goalkeeping options, having stuck with long-term number one David de Gea since taking over.

Reports have emerged that United and De Gea are set for talks on his future, with the 31-year-old's deal to expire in 2023.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD EYE COSTA AS DE GEA REPLACEMENT

Manchester United's goalkeeper situation is in flux, with the club interested in Porto custodian Diogo Costa, according to Metro.

United have sent scouts to watch the 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has seven caps for Portugal.

The Red Devils are looking for De Gea's successor, with the Spaniard seemingly not suiting Ten Hag's possession-based style.

United also have 25-year-old England international Dean Henderson out on loan at Nottingham Forest.

ROUND-UP

– O Jogo claims former Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins could be the latest Portuguese coach to take over at Wolves, following Bruno Lage's dismissal on Sunday. The Telegraph reports that under-fire Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui may be considered and Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has also been discussed.

Juventus and Real Madrid will rival Liverpool in the race to sign Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans from Leicester City, claims Calciomercato.

– LaLiga pair Sevilla and Valencia are both interested in Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, reports Todofichajes.

Tottenham and Juventus target Nicolo Zaniolo is set to pen a new deal with Roma, re-committing on a €4million per-year deal until 2027, according to Calciomercato.

– Everton's Venezuela international striker Salomon Rondon has interest from UAE club Sharjah FC but is likely to stay with the Toffees, reports Liverpool Echo.

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi has conceded his position is under threat following an "underserved defeat" against Roma.

Jose Mourinho's side came back from behind to increase the pressure upon the Inter boss, whose side sit eight points behind early pacesetters Napoli in the Serie A standings.

The loss brought an end to a streak of seven wins in a row for Inter at San Siro in the league but, despite the result, Inzaghi believes the performance was the finest they have shown this season.

"It is an absolutely undeserved defeat. It was our best game of the season and we come out with a result that burns and hurts," he told DAZN.

"We have to do more – at this moment we're not doing enough. We hit the crossbar, our goalkeeper did not make saves. As a coach, I had a great response from the players. I'm sorry to lose in front of the fans who supported us."

The loss was the second in a row for Inter in Serie A, with Inzaghi's side also losing three of their past four, and he has conceded his position is at threat.

"Am I at risk? Coaches always are, in every game and every week. We need to work more," he added.

"Defeats never bring serenity but tonight, I saw my Inter again, the one that won two trophies. With work, we have to get out of this moment."

Inter have no time to lick their wounds, as they face a tough test in the Champions League against Barcelona on Tuesday – a game in which Inzaghi does not expect injured striker Romelu Lukaku to be available.

"On Lukaku I'm not confident for the Champions League and against Sassuolo," Inzaghi said. "We hope to have him back in a short time because he is working well."

Chris Smalling's header saw Roma come from behind to beat Inter in Serie A for the first time in over five years.

Federico Dimarco gave Inter a first half lead at San Siro, but Paulo Dybala equalised against the side he was heavily rumoured to join before he completed a move to Roma.

Hakan Calhanoglu struck the crossbar with a ferocious free-kick in the second period, before Smalling scored the winning goal to inflict more misery upon Simone Inzaghi's side.

Inter have now lost back-to-back Serie A matches and three of their last four, drifting eight points behind early pacesetters Napoli.

Edin Dzeko saw an early attempt, which would have been his 100th Serie A goal, disallowed for offside but Dimarco broke the deadlock on the half hour mark, teeing Nicolo Barella's threaded pass into the bottom corner to take the lead with an effort Rui Patricio will feel he should have done better with.

The lead lasted less than 10 minutes though, Dybala volleying home Leonardo Spinazzola's cross past Samir Handanovic to secure his fourth Serie A goal of the season.

A timid start to the second period saw few opportunities but Calhanoglu was inches away from pushing Inter ahead again, firing a free kick off the frame of the goal shortly after the hour mark with Patricio stranded.

15 minutes later, the visitors scored their winner as Smalling found space to head Lorenzo Pellegrini's free-kick home with ease – a VAR check showing the defender was not offside and instead the beneficiary of lacklustre marking.

Newcastle United are reportedly prepared to launch a third bid for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison in the January window.

Maddison, 24, has had a strong start to the season despite Leicester sitting bottom of the table through seven games, with the midfielder registering three goals and an assist.

Newcastle reportedly placed bids of £40million and £45m in the last window – which prompted manager Brendan Rodgers to say "that might just cover three-quarters of his left leg" – but January will mark 18 months remaining on his contract, with a voluntary extension looking extremely unlikely.

 

TOP STORY – MADDISON OPEN TO NEWCASTLE UNITED MOVE

Maddison is said to be more open to the idea of leaving Leicester after failing to break back into the England setup for the World Cup, with his only international cap coming as a substitute during a win against Montenegro in 2020.

With Newcastle players Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier both being involved with the Three Lions, it is viewed as a more favourable situation to capture the attention of Gareth Southgate.

The report from The Times indicates Leicester do have the option to extend Maddison's contract by one extra season, which could give them the freedom to see out the remainder of the campaign.

However, if Newcastle are willing to move into the £60m range, that kind of spending power could fund some significant moves to address the Foxes' problems, and there is no guarantee his value will remain this high if they delay.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Spanish publication Beteve, Lionel Messi will refuse any contract extension and will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season.

– Kicker is reporting Tottenham's Harry Kane remains Bayern Munich's top target, and with only one more season left on his deal after this campaign, Tottenham could be forced to cash-in if he indicates he is ready to leave.

– Juventus will not renew the contracts of Angel Di Maria, Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot in order to reduce their wage bill, per La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Calciomercato is reporting Roma will join Bayern Munich and Manchester United with interest in €30m Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United are monitoring highly regarded Vasco da Gama 18-year-old Andrey Santos.

Roma's Leonardo Spinazzola has revealed he chose to miss Italy's Nations League fixtures to conduct individual training this month, as he continues his recovery from a serious Achilles tendon injury.

Spinazzola enjoyed a breakthrough on the international stage during Italy's successful Euro 2020 campaign last year, impressing as an attacking left-back for Roberto Mancini's side.

However, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the Azzurri's quarter-final win over Belgium in July 2021, returning to feature in just three Serie A matches before the end of last season.

The 29-year-old has appeared in all seven of the Giallorossi's league games this campaign, but revealed his previous injury continues to have an impact after opting to skip Italy's Nations League matches against England and Hungary.

"Not to go to Coverciano was my request to Roberto Mancini, the coach understood and allowed me these 10 days to get back in shape and do specific work for the calf," he told the club's media channels.

"I think mine is one of the worst injuries for a player, especially given my characteristics. I still lack some support and speed."

Roma are four points adrift of early Serie A pace-setters Napoli and Atalanta, but the arrival of Paulo Dybala and influence of coach Jose Mourinho have seen them tipped as potential title challengers.

Spinazzola spoke highly of the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, adding: "We are with him, whatever he says, we do. If he told us to go to war, we would do it. 

"That's right, he has this gift. Then everything he says, for the most part, comes true.

"But he is very calm in training. I don't know how he was in the past, but he's really calm. Sometimes he just observes from above. 

"He likes to observe how you move, how you move your body, your body language, he observes a lot of these things."

Roma were beaten by Atalanta in their last league outing, and will face a huge test of their Serie A credentials when they travel to another of Mourinho's former clubs Inter on October 1.

Arsenal are preparing for a busy January transfer window, with reports they are planning a £100million move for Juventus duo Dusan Vlahovic and Fabio Miretti.

Vlahovic, 22, arrived in Turin in January this year in a €70m transfer from Fiorentina, and after netting nine goals for his new club during the tail end of that campaign, he has hit the ground running with four goals from six starts this season.

Miretti, 19, is a product of Juventus' youth academy, and with three appearances for Italy's under-21 side under his belt, he has broken into Massimiliano Allegri's team, with four starts from their past five Serie A fixtures.

Both are likely seen as key pieces moving forward, regardless of Allegri's future with the club, so to pry them away Arsenal understand they will need to pay-up in a big way.


TOP STORY – ARSENAL TO LAUNCH £100M DOUBLE MOVE 

Arsenal have been linked with a number of significant January targets, with the Mail reporting they have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt's Jesper Lindstrom, while Sport claim they are weighing up activating a €35m release clause for Villarreal's Alex Baena.

What separates the Calciomercato report about the Juventus duo is that they are the only team named in the story, while it also claims Mikel Arteta is pushing for a bid to be made.

Despite the pair's coveted status within the Juventus squad and the desperation for the team to turn their results around following five matches without a win, Calciomercato states that an offer of £100m would be "difficult to refuse".

ROUND-UP

– Corriere dello Sport is reporting Jose Mourinho's Roma will make a move for Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah in January.

– According to Birmingham Mail, Juventus are keeping an eye on Wolves striker Adama Traore for a potential January move, while Football Italia add that their wish-list includes Antoine Griezmann, Marco Asensio and Christian Pulisic

Newcastle United "retain an interest" in Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, and he could be a January target, according to the Leicester Mercury.

– Manchester Evening News is reporting Manchester City have joined Chelsea in their interest for potential £100m Milan forward Rafael Leao.

– According to 90min, scouts from Premier League teams including Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves made the trip to Scotland to get a closer look at 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk playing internationally for Ukraine.

Jose Mourinho has made a surprise appearance in the latest music video released by British rapper Stormzy.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, currently at Roma, is seen shushing the camera in trademark fashion during the video for Stormzy's single "Mel Made Me Do It".

As the camera pans to Mourinho, Stormzy quotes one of the most iconic lines from the three-time Premier League champion's career, rapping: "I prefer not to speak like I'm Jose".

After being angered by the officials' performance during Chelsea's loss to Aston Villa in 2014, Mourinho said: "I prefer not to speak. If I speak I'm in big trouble".

Mourinho posted an image of himself alongside Stormzy on Instagram on Thursday, writing: "Was great fun doing this cameo for Stormzy's new music video out today. I had a great time."

Mourinho's fiery demeanour in news conferences may have earned him a long rap sheet during his time in football, but few would have expected this.

Ronald Koeman claimed an attempted move to bring Georginio Wijnaldum to Barcelona fell through after president Joan Laporta delayed a deal.

The Dutchman, who was fired by the LaLiga outfit last October after 14 months in charge at Camp Nou, struggled at times on the Barcelona bench and was replaced by Xavi.

Koeman, who will embark on a second spell as Netherlands head coach after the World Cup in Qatar, has confirmed he attempted to bring in compatriot Wijnaldum during the final transfer window of his Barcelona tenure.

However, Koeman contends that president Laporta, then recently returned to the position as Josep Maria Bartomeu's successor, stymied any move by dragging his heels.

"I tried to sign Wijnaldum for Barca, but I failed because the president wanted to play with me more than bring in a player," Koeman told Dutch newspaper AD.

"That delayed the operation, and for that reason, he opted for PSG. Otherwise, he would have played for Barcelona."

Wijnaldum left Liverpool in June 2021 to join Paris Saint-Germain, but he struggled across a dismal first season, resulting in him being loaned out to Roma for the current campaign.

A serious leg injury has since left Wijnaldum sidelined, however, making it highly unlikely he will be included in the Netherlands' squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Jose Mourinho would consider introducing diving lessons for his Roma stars because he fears the only way they will win penalties is by "playing the clown".

The head coach was red-carded in Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Atalanta after wildly protesting when Nicolo Zaniolo went down in the 55th minute under a challenge from Caleb Okoli but did not get a penalty.

Mourinho was adamant his team deserved a spot-kick for that incident, and he also wanted one in the first half for another challenge on Zaniolo, when Merih Demiral appeared to foul the Roma forward.

Zaniolo stumbled on and got back to his feet after tangling with Demiral, and the referee's refusal to point to the spot on that occasion appeared to fuel Mourinho's later tirade.

By marching onto the pitch, gesturing and yelling complaints, Mourinho left referee Daniele Chiffi with little option but to send him to the stands.

"I tried to speak to Chiffi after the game," said Mourinho. "If a referee tells me that it can never be a penalty if a player does not fall over, then I will have to start telling my players to fall over. I asked him to tell me why he had not given a penalty, but Chiffi did not give me a clear answer.

"Well, he said that it was a matter of interpretation. But for me it's not interpretation; it's a penalty and that's it. The player can still continue the action and then they can go back and give a penalty.

"I want to be the best coach I can be – if we need to instead start playing the clown and pretend that we are at the swimming pool, then I will change the training we do."

Mourinho's team won a penalty in their previous Serie A game against Empoli, which Lorenzo Pellegrini missed.

Replays for the second-half incident on Sunday suggested Zaniolo and Okoli were grappling at each other's shirt long before the Roma man went to ground.

Mourinho was asked whether he expected further action over what was seen as an angry outburst.

Quoted on Roma's official website, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss said: "Angry? I went on the pitch and if the rules say that I cannot then I must be sent off – and there's nothing more to it than that. Let's not make up things that didn't happen.”

Giorgio Scalvini scored the game's only goal in the 35th minute, a smart side-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area that arrowed through a crowd of players and found the bottom-right corner.

It puts Atalanta second at the end of the seventh round of Serie A games, with Napoli overtaking them on goal difference on Sunday evening after winning 2-1 at Milan. Roma sit sixth, four points behind the top two.

Jose Mourinho was sent off in a fit of fury as his Roma side lost 1-0 at home to Atalanta in Serie A.

The head coach was seething after his side were denied a penalty in the 55th minute when Nicolo Zaniolo went over under a challenge from Caleb Okoli.

Replays suggested both players were grappling at each other's shirt long before Zaniolo went to ground, and referee Daniele Chiffi waved away the appeals.

Mourinho joined his players in protesting against the decision, running onto the pitch and shouting and pointing at Chiffi, before the referee brandished the red card his way.

Giorgio Scalvini scored the game's only goal in the 35th minute, a smart side-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area that arrowed through a crowd of players and found the bottom-right corner.

Roma have now lost two of their past three Serie A matches, as many defeats as they had suffered in the previous 21 (11W, 8D), and they sit sixth in the table after seven rounds of the season.

Atalanta's win took the visitors top of the table, at least temporarily ahead of Sunday's late game between Napoli and Milan, both of whom had a chance to jump to the summit.

The victory lifted Atalanta to 17 points from their opening seven Serie A games, a points record for the club at this stage of the season, one better than they achieved in the 2019-20 campaign.

They have kept clean sheets in all four of their away games so far, with Sunday's success following previous shutouts in wins at Sampdoria, Hellas Verona and Monza. Atalanta have only twice previously had four consecutive clean sheets in away games, in 1997 and 2016.

Jose Mourinho says "there is no point crying" about Roma's growing injury list, after Paulo Dybala pulled out of Sunday's showdown with Atalanta.

Dybala was injured during the warm-up ahead of the Serie A clash at Stadio Olimpico – the Argentina international sustaining a left flexor issue in his thigh.

Nemanja Matic replaced the former Juventus forward in the Giallorossi's starting line-up, with Lorenzo Pellegrini pushing into a more advanced role. 

Dybala joins the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum (tibia fracture) and Stephan El Shaarawy (muscular) on the injury list, while Rick Karsdorp is expected to miss around six weeks as he prepares to undergo surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Nevertheless, Mourinho insists his side must be ready to deal with these setbacks, and not get despondent.

"The squad is in the best shape possible," he told DAZN. "We were fortunate really to play against 10 men for almost the whole game on Thursday [the 3-0 win over HJK], as that requires less intensity, pressing and running.

"It's tough, but this is football. With the transfer window closed, there's no point crying about it now.

"The season is made up of lots of little problems to deal with. The really big one was Wijnaldum, but Rick will be back in at most two months."

On a brighter note, Nicolo Zaniolo made his Serie A return for the visit of Atalanta, having recovered from a dislocated shoulder.

Mourinho added: "Nico is in good shape, and he's a player really made to start games. He's different to the others."

Roma striker Tammy Abraham has been inspired by Erling Haaland's goalscoring feats and wants to scale the same heights as the Manchester City forward.

Abraham, who was called up to England's latest squad on Thursday, joined Roma from Chelsea ahead of the 2021-22 campaign and scored 27 goals across all competitions in his maiden season.

Haaland has hit the ground running at Manchester City since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in June, hitting 14 goals in his first 10 games.

Abraham, 24, watches Haaland closely and hopes he can eventually be likened to the Norway international.

"There is something in me saying I want to do even better," Abraham told the Mail on Sunday. "As a character, that's how I thrive.

"I look at Erling Haaland, who is the most talked about player in the world right now. I use it as a secret motivation, to try to reach that level, hit those targets. Other players' success is what gets me going."

Abraham joined a growing list of British players to sign for continental European clubs when he swapped Stamford Bridge for the Stadio Olimpico, and he cited Jadon Sancho's successful spell at Borussia Dortmund as a pivotal factor in his decision.

"If you'd told me a couple of years ago I'd be playing in Italy, I wouldn't have believed you," Abraham said. "Leaving Chelsea was difficult, it's where I'd grown up from the age of seven.

"I didn't know much about Italian football but it has helped me develop as a player and as a man. I've come out of my comfort zone and don't have any regrets. I love the life and it's brought out another side to my game.

"People might have been scared of change. Everyone likes to be in a comfortable place but sometimes you can have regrets if you don't try it. Whatever happens with the rest of my career, I can look back and be proud of playing and living in Italy, experiencing a different life.

"Sancho is a great example. At the time he went to Dortmund, I thought: 'Why?' But he did brilliantly and it's given others the confidence to do it. Jude Bellingham followed him to Dortmund, me and [Fikayo] Tomori are in Italy. We're playing well, banging on the door. I believe Sancho opened many people's eyes."

Jose Mourinho admitted he was "a little scared" amid speculation of Nicolo Zaniolo leaving Roma, while he refuted suggestions the attacker was difficult to manage.

Zaniolo scored the winning goal as Roma ended a 14-year trophy drought, defeating Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final in May.

But speculation persisted in the close season that the 23-year-old may depart the Eternal City, with Juventus reportedly the favourites to secure his signature.

Zaniolo dismissed the move as never likely ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with HJK Helsinki, which Roma won 3-0 after goals from Paulo Dybala, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Belotti.

While the Italy international suggested a transfer was never on the cards, Mourinho acknowledged he was nervous he could lose one of his brightest prospects.

"The director [Tiago Pinto] never came to me to tell me: 'this possibility exists'. Never. You read so many things, especially in the summer," the Roma coach told reporters after victory over HJK. 

"I knew he was an important player for us, with different qualities than the others. He's the only one with this physical potential. Yes, I was a little scared.

"He's a good guy, they told me he was a disaster as a professional. Either it was lies or he changed. I have never seen him arrive late, never had problems."

Roma sit three points behind early pacesetters Real Betis in Group C, with Ludogorets in second after defeating the Giallorossi on matchday one.

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