Chelsea have made an initial contact with Jose Mourinho (pictured) to establish his availably and his views on returning to the club as its manager. Mourinho had a successful spell with the side from June 2004 to September 2007, but left “by mutual consent” after winning two Premier league titles in his first spell at the club.
The reasons for his departure are unclear but a personality clash with the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, is often hinted at as the reason for the split. The Russian oligarch likes to have some input on transfers and team selection and this set up just does not fit easily with the way that Mourinho operates.
The Portuguese coach is currently the manager of Real Madrid, but that job appears to be coming to an end as Real Madrid are unlikely to overhaul Barcelona in the race to win the title in Spain. Madrid face a huge clash in the last 16 of the Champions League against Manchester United and it is at that club that Mourinho seems destined to spend part of his carer.
The key to that job becoming available is when Sir Alex Ferguson decides to retire. He has held the post since 1986 but even aged 71 the passion and love of the game is still in evidence. United followers and pundits seem to think Sir Alex would like to win one more Champions League before leaving the club.
When he does finally relinquish the role Ferguson will be consulted on the issue of his replacement. He is an admirer of Mourinho so that manager may prefer to hold out for the United job instead of returning to Chelsea.
Rafa Benitez is the current interim manager at Chelsea following the sacking of Robert Di Matteo, the coach that finally delivered the Champions League to Abramovich. Benitez is not popular at Chelsea, mainly due to the relationship he had with the club when managing Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola was on Chelsea’s wish list, but he has turned his back on English football for now by accepting the coaching role at Bayern Munich in Germany. Abramovich nearly always sacks his managers after sometimes no more than a year in charge. That tendency has put off Guardiola and may not appeal to Mourinho, who would possibly prefer to wait for the job at Old Trafford that will become available when Ferguson departs.