Mourinho ready to come full circle

16 August 2013 10:16

Jose Mourinho is concluding preparations for his competitive return as Chelsea manager ahead of the opening weekend of the season - 2,164 days following his most recent match as a Barclays Premier League boss.

When Chelsea host Hull on Sunday, the self-proclaimed 'Special One' will grace the English top flight for the first time since a goalless draw at home to Blackburn in September 2007.

Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in March 2010, winning with Inter Milan, but is now back in the home dugout after signing a four-year contract in June.

He says he has mellowed and matured, but only time will tell if there will be any repetition of the tempestuous behaviour which punctuated his recent spell at Real Madrid.

Chelsea's pre-season has been productive - six wins in seven games in Asia and the United States - with Mourinho's return their greatest statement; one which means the Blues have been installed as title favourites by many before a ball is kicked this term.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is among those pleased to see the Portuguese back.

Scudamore said. "Are we delighted to see Mourinho? Of course we are because he's a character, and a successful character, and a talking point. He's stardust."

Mourinho is twice a Premier League champion and the only European Cup-winning manager in England's top flight, something he was only too keen to point out.

He is content with his squad, with one sole transfer target remaining.

Chelsea have made three summer signings - Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer - but Wayne Rooney remains elusive despite two bids, as Manchester United remain determined to hold on to the striker.

Source: PA