Mourinho stirs the pot with Roma as Inter aim at treble

Euro Zone

Jose Mourinho keeps dropping the bait and his Serie A rivals keep biting. Ahead of the penultimate round of games in Italy, Roma are considering taking legal action over remarks by Mourinho suggesting that they might pay Internazionale's opponents on the last day of the season to play harder to beat them.

With two games left in Italy, only two points separate Inter and Roma, and Inter go to already relegated Siena on the final day of the season. The Siena president, Massimo Mezzaroma, is a Roma fan and had hinted he would still pay out the bonuses he promised his players for staying up if they beat Inter and help Roma to the Scudetto.

In response the Inter coach suggested: "Perhaps Roma could take advantage of the money they saved by not having to pay out cup bonuses and use the funds to pay Siena to beat us too." The incendiary comments follow Inter's Italian Cup final win over Roma this week.

There might be no need for anyone to pay anything, because if Inter beat Chievo tomorrow and Roma fail at home to Cagliari, the title will be decided with a week to spare. As Mourinho prepares for the domestic climax, though, he will have one eye on Spain where Real Madrid are one point behind Barcelona with two games left.

The current Real coach, Manuel Pellegrini, was last night preparing for what will either be his last home game in charge of the club or his finest hour.

If Barça beat Seville away tonight then, with a home match against practically relegated Valladolid on the last day, they will be all but crowned champions and Pellegrini, having overseen the most expensive barren season in history, will face the sack, leaving the way clear in Madrid for Mourinho.

But if Barcelona slip up and Real win their game against Athletic Bilbao, which kicks off at the same time tonight, then the Bernabeu will start celebrating the title pending a final-game away win over Malaga.

"I signed for two years and I assume that I will complete those two years," said Pellegrini when asked if he thought this could be his last home fixture in charge. "At the end of the season we will evaluate things, but first we must fight to the end. There are various ways to judge the season. The club will decide if this is the end or the beginning of an era."

The Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, took the pressure off his players by dismissing the idea that this would be a trophyless season if they did not retain the league title. "We have already won the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup and the World Club Cup," Guardiola said. "It will be the fourth [trophy] of the season not the first."

Attention, as ever, will centre around Lionel Messi, who now has 31 goals for the season, and Cristiano Ronaldo who has 25. Seville knocked Barcelona out of the Spanish Cup earlier in the season but Messi has scored more goals against Seville's Andres Palop than any other goalkeeper in Spain.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?