Guus Hiddink poised for Chelsea return

24 May 2011 06:41
ShareSportsmail can reveal the four-man managerial short-list under serious consideration by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea.

It includes an outsider - 40-year-old Russian rookie coach Leonid Slutsky of CSKA Moscow, a club with whom Abramovich has strong ties.

Eyes on the prize: Hiddink is set for a return to Stamford Bridge after Ancleotti was sacked on Sunday

But Guus Hiddink remains the favourite to replace sacked Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge and has declared an interest in winning another European Cup by returning to club management.

Jose Mourinho is also on the list, although he may not yet be ready to return from Real Madrid where he still wants to conquer mighty Barcelona in the Spanish league.

Axed: Ancelotti (left) arrives at Monday night's LMA Awards, while Mourinho may not be ready to replace him

The other name Abramovich will consider is Mourinho's protege Andre Villas-Boas of Europa League winners Porto.

Hiddink and Mourinho are the top choices, although Dutchman Hiddink would be the less problematic appointment and is the clear favourite. He is ready to answer Abramovich's call despite the confusion that remains over his position as manager of Turkey.

Protege: Villas-Boas is also in contention for the Chelsea job

Publicly, his agent declared that he would not be available until Turkey's European Championship qualifying campaign ends in October.

But Hiddink is likely to be sacked if his side fail to beat Belgium in Brussels on Friday week and he is then expected to return to Stamford Bridge for the role he occupied on a temporary basis in 2009.

According to sources close to Hiddink, the man who guided PSV Eindhoven to European Cup glory in 1988 has even been given permission in principle by Abramovich to work as an advisor to Ajax while operating as Chelsea's manager.

There was a very obvious shift in the attitude of the Turks on Monday, as there was from Hiddink's agent, Cees van Nieuwenhuizen.

Until now, both had dismissed suggestions that Hiddink could return to Chelsea but senior Turkey national team communications manager Turker Tozar said: 'At this stage, we will leave everything to Mr Hiddink and if he sees the need to speak about this issue, he will do this personally. We have a press conference on May 27. If he wishes to comment on these rumours or leaks, he will do it.'

Pressed on whether they would refuse any approach for Hiddink from Chelsea, Tozar added: 'Last month, our vice-president was asked and he said we had longterm plans with Mr Hiddink. 'If there are new issues, Hiddink will talk about this.'

Asked whether his client had completely ruled out a club management role as his next move, Van Nieuwenhuizen said: 'I don't know that you can say that.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

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