Chelsea are left waiting as Guus Hiddink takes his time
Published 18/12/2015 | 04:36
Guus Hiddink wants to take a good look at Chelsea and their current predicament before accepting the interim manager's job for a second time.
The 69-year-old flew into London less than 24 hours after Jose Mourinho left the club for a second time, but despite Chelsea's hopes a deal would be concluded for the Dutchman to take over in the short term nothing was finalised on Friday night.
That means assistant coach Steve Holland will take charge for tomorrow's visit of Sunderland, although Hiddink could well be in the stands to run the rule over his prospective new players.
"We are still talking, exchanging stuff... It is possible that we would still use this weekend to discuss," he told Fox Sports.
"It could take hours or days before I say yes or no. The news is fresh. I first want to take a good look."
Hiddink had, in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf earlier in the day, admitted he wanted to make a full appraisal of the situation at Stamford Bridge before his next move.
"I want to get some good insight before I make my decision," he said.
"I want as much information as possible. Chelsea are in a bad situation and there are reasons for that.
"I want to gain some good insights on that before I make my decision.
"Whether or not I'm visiting their next match depends on my first conversation. Then I'll decide if I should stay in London longer."
If he does eventually accept Chelsea's offer Hiddink will reprise the role he performed in 2009 when he replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari in February of that year, guiding the club to the FA Cup and third place in the table as well as a Champions League semi-final where they narrowly and controversially lost to eventual winners Barcelona courtesy of a stoppage-time away goal.
He lost just one of his 22 matches in the final four months of the season and was well liked during his short stint in charge.
After his last match, the Wembley win over Everton, a number of senior stars - captain John Terry being one - asked him to reconsider his decision and stay on.
Of the squad from that day only Terry and Branislav Ivanovic still remain at Stamford Bridge.
Hiddink is probably wise to take his time over his decision as he has to be certain what he is walking into after all the apparent upheaval behind the scenes - Chelsea's technical director Michael Emenalo cited "palpable discord" between the manager and the players - during Mourinho's last few months in charge.
The Portuguese is reported to have returned to the club's Cobham training ground to say his final goodbyes to the squad, who are now trying to focus on the visit of Sunderland.
Terry expressed his regret at Mourinho's exit on social media on Friday morning, posting on Instagram: "Thank you doesn't seem enough. Sad sad day.
"Gonna miss you Boss. The very best I have EVER worked with, unbelievable memories together."
Defender Baba Rahman, only signed in the summer, admits Mourinho's departure has taken some getting used to by the players but stressed they were trying to remain professional and concentrate on returning to winning ways after back-to-back league defeats against Bournemouth and Leicester.
"Everyone was sad, Mourinho was the best manager the club has ever had," the left-back told Sky Sports.
"The mood is not so usual like before because of what has happened but we are looking ahead to the future and trying to put things together."
One of Hiddink's former assistants, Rene Meulensteen, believes the Dutchman will bring a safe pair of hands to Stamford Bridge.
"Guus has always been a modern-thinking coach but at the end of the day you still deal with humans and that is one of his biggest assets - he gets the noses of everyone in the room pointing in the same direction," compatriot Rene Meulensteen, who briefly worked with Hiddink at Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, told Radio Five Live.
"It was a short-lived period with him at Anzhi but it was time well spent.
"I am sure he will do well for Chelsea because he will be a safe pair of hands."