Search

Is Mourinho Chelsea bound?

17:21 03 December 2012

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Chelsea today insisted there is “no truth” in reports that Avram Grant is to return to Stamford Bridge but the looming availability of another former manager may give owner Roman Abramovich pause for thought.

Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Real Madrid looks increasingly likely to be over at the end of the season - at the same time that interim manager Rafael Benitez’s contract expires.

If Abramovich cannot convince Pep Guardiola to take over at Chelsea then it would be a surprise if the Russian did not consider offering the ‘Special One’ a second era at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho said in a CNN interview in October he still has “a great relationship” with Abramovich and that: “We are in touch a lot.”

Mourinho today refused to talk about reports in the Spanish daily Marca that the club will look for another manager at the end of the season, but the newspaper is viewed as the club’s unofficial mouthpiece and the relationship between the Portuguese and president Florentino Perez looks uneasy.

Marca ran its story under a picture of a broken heart but Mourinho responded today saying: “I am not speaking about this. There’s no story.”

Chelsea have ruled out Grant, the Israeli who was Chelsea manager when the club reached the 2008 Champions League final, returning as an advisor to Benitez. A spokesman today insisted: “There is no truth in the reports.”

Benitez has found himself under intense pressure even less than two weeks since being appointed, but he has vowed not to throw in the towel after revealing his anger at his players’ 3-1 defeat at West Ham.

Benitez is the first Chelsea boss under Abramovich not to win one of his first three games in charge, the first not to witness a goal in his first two and the first to lose to West Ham, and seven dropped points leave a top-four place now under threat - never mind the title itself.

And although not in charge for all seven games, the statistics also amount to the Blues’ longest winless run in the league for 17 years, their lowest points tally after 15 matches since Abramovich bought the club, and now a 10-point gap to leaders Manchester United.

Benitez admitted he was “not 100% sure” his position was secure but insisted he would not be driven out of the club amid growing unrest, with some supporters still furious at the appointment of the former Liverpool boss.

Asked whether he would ever consider walking away from the abuse, jeers and protest banners that are bound to be in evidence again at Wednesday’s Champions League game at home to FC Nordsjaelland, Benitez said: “No. When I decided to come, I knew it was a challenge.

“We have to win games, and everyone will be happier.”

Ultimately, the only supporter Benitez really needs to make happy is the club’s owner, whom fans appealed to directly on Saturday with a chant of “Roman Abramovich, is this what you want?”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Hugo Lloris of Spurs shakes hands with Manager Mauricio Pochettino  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino hailed the fighting spirit of his side and fans as they came from behind twice to rescue a draw on his first return to Southampton.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino hands the ball to Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne on his return to St Mary's

Tottenham twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw as head coach Mauricio Pochettino returned to his former club Southampton for the first time.

Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham need to be “cleverer” than their big-spending rivals this summer and land the first punch by signing their targets early.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder