Monday 24 October 2016

Chelsea make peace with Jose Mourinho by sending him replica trophies - and a thank you

Sam Wallace

Published 19/02/2016 | 17:01

Jose Mourinho with John Terry and the Capital One Cup Photo: PA Wire
Jose Mourinho with John Terry and the Capital One Cup Photo: PA Wire

Chelsea have moved to smooth over relations with Jose Mourinho by sending their former manager a memento of his success in his second spell at the club - replica versions of the Premier League and Capital One Cup trophies he won last season, as well as a letter thanking him for his achievements.

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The trophies and the letter were sent to Mourinho’s west London home in a presentation blue box this week, two months after he was sacked by the club for the second time in eight years.

The letter from chairman Bruce Buck addressed Mourinho’s many achievements at the club and reiterated the club’s belief that he would always be welcome at Stamford Bridge in the future.

The club are appreciative of Mourinho keeping a notably low profile since his departure ad replacement by Guus Hiddink, manager until the end of the season.

The 53-year-old Portuguese coach has stayed in London for the time being and is currently fulfilling obligations to sponsors as well as some charity work over the next few months while he decides his next move.

The gift from Chelsea goes some way to making up for the terms of Mourinho’s departure on Dec 18, a Thursday, when the decision on his sacking was delivered at Cobham by Eugene Tenenbaum, Roman Abramovich’s closest aide, after the squad’s Christmas lunch. The Chelsea manager returned to his office that afternoon to find Tenenbaum waiting for him to deliver the bad news.

Mourinho’s key regret was that he did not see Abramovich or any of the others in the club hierarchy that day.

The following day, a Friday, he returned to his office to collect his possessions while the team were out training and said farewell to members of staff. There has never been any meeting between Mourinho and Hiddink despite claims of a breakfast together when the Dutchman took over.

Behind the scenes at Chelsea who are looking closely at the credentials of a number of coaches as a long-term successor to Hiddink in the summer. Among them is Diego Simeone; Argentinian coach Jorge Sampaoli, as well as the Italians Max Allegri and Bruno Conte.

The likes of Mark Hughes and Claudio Ranieri have been considered. Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe is seen as one for the long-term.

Sampaoli, 55, was manager of Chile until last month when he quit after more than five years in charge having won the home Copa America the previous summer.

His availability is attractive to Chelsea who do not wish to spend the summer waiting to appoint a manager.

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