THE Premier League is preparing itself for the second coming of Jose Mourinho after his exit from Real Madrid was confirmed last night.
Mourinho's return to London and Chelsea seems to be a formality now that he will be a free agent once the Spanish season ends.
And that could spark other managerial moves. Rafa Benitez, currently in charge of Chelsea for their USA tour, could replace Mourinho at Madrid after Napoli denied reports that Benitez was on his way.
Napoli have again been linked with Giovanni Trapattoni but the Ireland boss has told an Italian newspaper that "Napoli are targeting a different coach".
Real president Florentino Perez said: "The club and the manager agree that the timing is right to bring our relationship to an end.
"To spend three years in a first-division Spanish club is not easy – I share his reasons for wanting to leave. The level of pressure has increased, so much that this is what has happened now."
Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi welcomed the news that Mourinho is leaving Madrid, describing him as a "scourge" on Spanish football.
But Chelsea stalwart Frank Lampard has come out in support of the former Blues boss.
"Mourinho was the best. He brought my confidence to a level it had never been," Lampard said.
"He might rub people up the wrong way. But as a manager, he's brilliant with his team, tactically, he's brilliant with individuals and I think he's brilliant with the press."