Hiddink hints at advisory role with Chelsea

Jeremy Wilson

GUUS Hiddink is expected to be used as an occasional adviser to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich after losing his job on Tuesday as the manager of Turkey.

The former Chelsea manager remains good friends with Abramovich and, while the Dutchman's sudden availability will intensify outside scrutiny on manager Andre Villas-Boas, there are no plans for him to take on a formal position at the club.

Instead, according to sources, Hiddink is likely to continue advising Abramovich on an informal and ad-hoc basis.

Hiddink, as ever, is keeping his options wide open and intends to take a period of time away from football before deciding his next move.

Chelsea see no reason to make any public comment on the situation and, while nothing can be ruled out in the longer term, Abramovich is understood to be happy with the new managerial structure.

Michael Emenalo was appointed in July as technical director, with a particular focus on player recruitment and the academy.

Hiddink, who guided Chelsea to victory in the 2008 FA Cup, indicated on Tuesday that he was not necessarily interested in a return to management and may prefer to work more permanently as an adviser.

"It was great at Chelsea, a terrific time, but that doesn't mean I am ready to start tomorrow," 65-year-old Hiddink said. "I need some time to reflect. Even at my age, I need to decide what my future may be. I'm not ready to retire, I like to be involved with a team on a daily basis, but maybe I am ready to step out of the limelight a little bit, away from the cameras. Hopefully I will still be involved but perhaps it will be as an adviser or a consultant."

Chelsea are adamant that Villas-Boas was their first choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as manager during the summer, and that they did not approach Hiddink.

The club now seem convinced that Villas-Boas offers the best long-term option.