Jose Mourinho is currently the favourite to succeed Rafael Benitez at Stamford Bridge among both fans and the bookmakers, so there’s no surprise that there’s a fair amount of rumour in relation to his potential return to West London.
The Portuguese manager’s options have significantly increased since Pep Guardiola, believed to be the number one target of both Manchester City and Chelsea, accepted a job at Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich.
The Daily Express have claimed that a source ‘close to Roman Abramovich’ revealed that Mourinho had been in contact with the owner, staff and senior players at the club dropping hints about a return. The quote read:
“Jose has been sending messages to people at the club. Not just to Roman, to everybody, dropping hints.”
John Terry, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard remain at Stamford Bridge from the time that Jose was there and it’s always been fairly open that he keeps in touch with his former players, only recently did Wesley Sneijder say that he sought the advise of Mourinho about moving to Galatasaray, so I’m not sure if there’s a lot to read into in this regard.
Texting Abramovich is another thing altogether, despite the fact that the pair have repaired their relationship since the now Real Madrid coach left Chelsea in 2007 and have had some sort of contact since. Abramovich is running out of options and it’s argued that he is aware that Rafael Benitez is far too unpopular to be given anything more than his current interim role, will he turn to Mourinho at this time?
To be honest, all this talk of text messages and sources that are supposedly close to a man that does more than most to stay away from the media and limelight. But there are several reasons many feel Mourinho is destined to return with the most prominent being his ‘love affair’ with English football, his ties to London as he bought a house not far from Stamford Bridge last year and his daughter is studying at the Camberwell College of Arts.
Aside from discussing the likelihood of such a switch there’s also the debate over whether he would be the right man for the job at this time. He enjoyed great success during his previous stint at the club with the back-to-back title victories being the highlight, so the answer in the hearts of the majority of Chelsea fans would be a resounding yes. Whether you love him or hate him you cannot question his record, his success and the impact he makes as both a coach and a personality. The club is fairly used to taking a battering from the media and no-one aside from Andre Villas-Boas has stood up to them in Chelsea’s interest since Mourinho left.
But are things ever the same the second time around?
Whether people would agree or disagree with it, it looks as though the board are attempting to build towards a new Chelsea with hungry young stars and a different style. There’s also a plethora of young talent at the club that isn’t being used and the club’s hierarchy will want a man that is able to take these players through their final transition and develop them as a first team player, a skill that Mourinho hasn’t shown any tangible evidence of as yet.
Of course, there would be only one way to find out but one thing we know for sure is that it will be interesting to see how the search for a permanent manager unfolds.