Jose Mourinho has been caught up in Serie A’s very own version of Spygate after the Roma boss was forced to alter his training plans to avoid the risk of Torino gaining insight on his tactical blueprint. Two two sides lock horns on Saturday evening in Turin but the Special One has reportedly been fearful of some unwanted disruption in the build up to the clash.
Torino boss Ivan Juric’s technical assistant Michele Orecchio is tasked with preparing research and information for his side so they adapt their game plans accordingly.
And in the past, he has been known to specialise in secretly observing training sessions from close quarters.
Now the Italian press are reporting that Mourinho is concerned that Orecchio would look to spy on his team’s training sessions this week in a bid to find out who might be in the starting line up.
For that reason, he is not prepared to run any risks and has moved to cut out any slim chance of Torino gaining a minor advantage.
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Roma’s training pitches are usually covered by dark tarpaulin which has been deployed to block out potential observers.
Mourinho is even said to have summoned his goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos to watch from the bushes to see if he would be visible.
That said, it has been pointed out by the Italian press that in this instance, Mourinho’s actions were merely light-hearted fun.
Santos will be back in the mix for Roma on Saturday after serving his suspension following a spat with Lazio’s Pedro.
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Roma are still very much in the hunt for Champions League football and are currently fifth in the Serie A table on goal difference.
Mourinho’s side have responded well to back-to-back defeats to Lazio and Sassuolo after putting three past Sampdoria last Sunday.
The Giallorossi also have a Europa League quarter-final with Feyenoord to look forward to as we approach the business end of the season.
In the past few days, Mourinho has found himself linked with a stunning return to Chelsea following the sacking of Graham Potter.
His former midfielder Frank Lampard has since been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the season but beyond that, the Stamford Bridge hot-seat is up for grabs.
Mourinho has long flirted with a return to west London for a third stint as manager despite his previous spells with Chelsea’s rivals Manchester United and Tottenham.
And if he can deliver another piece of European silverware with Roma after winning last season’s Conference League, he could emerge as one of the leading contenders having previously won three Premier League titles in west London.
His current contract is due to expire in Rome at the end of the season, meaning he could now be approaching the final months of his time in Italy.
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