The short reign of Rafael Benitez as interim manager at Chelsea is due to come to an end in May and we are no closer to knowing who will succeed him at Stamford Bridge despite strong reports linking us to Jose Mourinho.
One of the main reasons why people doubt Mourinho will return to the club for a second term is because things ended on such a sour note that last time and nobody can be sure if he’ll be given another chance in the job.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck certainly hasn’t ruled anything out and said that he’s ‘open minded’ when it comes to seeking Benitez’s successor, so he hasn’t ruled out a Mourinho return but you can never be certain who the club will bring in as they surprised everyone by employing Andre Villas-Boas when everyone was sure Guus Hiddink would follow Carlo Ancelotti.
There has been plenty of claims and counter-claims that say that deals are or are not in place, but Buck says the hunt for a manager has not started yet.
When asked if a past manager may return, Buck responded:
“I am completely open minded about it.”
“We really haven’t started that (the hunt for a new boss) yet but we’re all thinking about it and have some ideas, and certainly Mr Abramovich is thinking about it.
“At the moment, we’re concentrating on the end of the season.”
Despite the denials I doubt a shortlist of potential candidates hasn’t been drawn up and if the names on it haven’t been contacted directly, it’s unlikely that their agents are aware of potential interest in their clients.
He also had a few words to say about Chelsea’s mini-tour of the US at the end of the season and the upcoming pre-season tour of Asia:
“Fans don’t like it when we call Chelsea a brand and I understand that they prefer Chelsea to be viewed as a club and it IS a club but that’s why we have to do everything at home to make sure our local fan base is satisfied.
“These tours are very important to Chelsea. We come from a relatively small country of 70 million people and run a very expensive sport so we have to look elsewhere for our revenues and it’s a very delicate balance between satisfying our fans at home and giving them the best possible experience at home but also trying to bring in fans from abroad.”
And stressed that Abramovich remains to have the club’s best interests at heart:
“He’s always talking about football, he knows an awful lot about football and I guess the easiest thing to convey to you is that in the dressing room after the Munich victory Mr Abramovich gave a little speech to the players… and he said this is just the beginning.”