Chelsea battle to sign Guus Hiddink from Turkey

17 April 2011 01:45
Chelsea have been warned they face a bitter fight with the Turkish FA if they want to prise Guus Hiddink out of his job this summer.

Carlo Ancelotti looks set to remain as manager until the end of the season but his long-term future appears bleak as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich plots sweeping changes.

The Russian billionaire is ready to invite Hiddink back to Stamford Bridge, where the Dutchman won the FA Cup during a three-month spell as manager two years ago, but he still has one year left on his contract as Turkey boss.

Say it with flowers: Hiddink (left) is in Chelsea owner Abramovich's sights to replace Ancelotti (right)

Mahmut Ozgener, president of the Turkish FA, has made it clear he will not allow the 64-year-old manager to operate in a dual capacity, as he did when he combined his last Chelsea role with his duties as manager of Russia.

Ozgener does not expect his manager to walk out and has even floated the idea of extending Hiddink's contract to the World Cup in 2014.

'Mr Hiddink has been linked with moves to several clubs in different countries and on every occasion he says he needs to focus first on his job with the Turkish team,' a Turkish FA source told Sportsmail.

'Mr Hiddink says he is too old for a dual role and our president does not want him to take one. He (Ozgener) would approach this coldly. He has closed the door on such issues.' 

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Hiddink is a man of principle. He doesnot like to break an agreement and has given his word that he willguide Turkey through what is considered to be a transitional period.

This puts him in an awkward position. Theyare third in their qualification group for Euro 2012. They have givenup hope of catching Germany as the group winners but hope to reach theplay-offs as runners-up.

Popular opinion turned against Hiddink after a defeat in Azerbaijan in the autumn, but his team recovered to beat Austria last month and face a crucial tie in Belgium in June. If Turkey lose, it will boost Chelsea's chances of bringing Hiddink back swiftly and without fuss.

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Hiddink has made it clear he does not want the rigour of managing a club but Abramovich wants to install him at an executive level in a role akin to Frank Arnesen, the sporting director who will leave for Hamburg in the summer.

Until then, Chelsea are keen to appear as unruffled as possible by the disappointment of Tuesday's defeat by Manchester United in the quarter-final of the Champions League.

It means the Blues will finish the season without a trophy for only the second time in the Abramovich era. On both other occasions, the managers, Claudio Ranieri and Avram Grant, were fired at the end of the campaign.

Ancelotti is resigned to a similar fate but first the Italian will be expected to secure a place in the top three, which guarantees a place in next season's Champions League without the inconvenience of a play-off round in August.

It will also allow Abramovich and his aides time to consider their options. If Hiddink can come in above the manager, it will be a question of identifying a coach willing and able to work with him.

Marco van Basten is a candidate, as is Porto's Andre Villas-Boas, who worked at Chelsea as part of Jose Mourinho's backroom team.

The prospect of Mourinho himself making a return this summer looks remote. Ancelotti took training as normal yesterday and was joined at Cobham by his former AC Milan manager and coaching mentor Arrigo Sacchi, who now controls Italy's youth teams.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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