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Mourinho open to working in France

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Planning for the future? Jose Mourinho was in the stands to run the rule over Lille star Nicolas Pepe © AFP / PHILIPPE HUGUEN

LILLE, France, Feb 17Jose Mourinho said he could see himself coaching in France as he attended Sunday’s 0-0 draw between Lille and Montpellier to reportedly cast an eye over Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe.

Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United in December in a move that cost the Premier League club £19.6 million in severance pay for the Portuguese boss and members of his staff.

He has since taken on a punditry role with beIN Sports, and was pictured sitting alongside Lille sporting advisor Luis Campos at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday.

“I can imagine (coaching) in France one day,” Mourinho said. “I’m a man who’s worked in four different countries, who likes that, who likes to know other cultures.”

“I like to learn all the time, to work in a different league would be a fantastic experience. (At the moment) I’m calm, I’m trying to enjoy life with family and friends and calmly working to hopefully find another opportunity in football.”

Campos is a friend of Mourinho’s and served as chief scout when the latter was in charge at Real Madrid.

A source told AFP Mourinho had come to Lille to watch Pepe and Brazilian midfielder Thiago Mendes.

Pepe, 23, is the third leading scorer in France this season with 16 goals, trailing only Paris Saint-Germain duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and also has eight assists for second-placed Lille.

United replaced Mourinho with former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer halfway through his third season at Old Trafford with the club languishing in sixth and 19 points off the pace.

He has pledged to return to “top-level football” with Real Madrid, the club he coached from 2010 to 2013, touted a possible landing spot for the 56-year-old.

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