Fri, Nov 30, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Jose Mourinho yet to hear anything on vacant England post

AP , LONDON

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has had no contact with England's Football Association about replacing fired national team coach Steve McClaren.

Hopes that the colorful coach might be the next man to take one of the toughest jobs in soccer rose on Wednesday when he was quoted as saying he was interested in the role.

However, he said he'd heard nothing from the FA when approached on Wednesday by Sky News in Portugal.

"I know nothing. I know nothing about it," Mourinho said. "I cannot answer you. My job at the moment is to take care of my family, my things in Portugal, enjoying my life -- not 100 percent because no football -- but enjoying my life."

Mourinho, who led Chelsea to back-to-back league titles as well as two domestic cups, knows English soccer well and would be an ideal candidate for a team which failed to reach next year's European Championship after losing to Croatia last week.

"There are lots of good managers around the world," Mourinho said. "The only thing I say it's a pity England is not in Euro 2008 but for sure they will be back for the World Cup in South Africa. They have to choose the right person for that."

Mourinho has been out of soccer since leaving Chelsea on Sept. 20 after falling out with Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

The Portuguese coach worked with England players John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips at Chelsea.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick, who is assigned with finding a coach and getting his choice approved by the board, has said he's in no rush to make an appointment. England will play only friendlies until qualifying for the 2010 World Cup begins in September.

Former AC Milan, AS Roma and Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill, Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and former England striker Alan Shearer are among potential contenders for the England job.

But Mourinho is clearly the fans' favorite. A Web site -- www.mourinhoforengland.co.uk -- is hoping to gather 100,000 signatures urging the FA to give him the job. The site has already collected 10,000 signatures in 48 hours, the Sun newspaper said.

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