Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (below) has backed old nemesis Jose Mourinho to make a successful return to Chelsea but insists Real Madrid will not be weakened by the departure of the 'Special One'.
Mourinho quit the Bernabeu recently before returning to Stamford Bridge and Messi, who first crossed swords with the Portuguese coach during his first spell with the Blues, believes he will be just as successful second time around.
The Argentina captain also expects his club's arch rivals to be as competitive as ever in the Primera Division next season after Los Blancos brought in Carlo Ancelotti to replace Mourinho. "Mourinho was a great coach but we know that Ancelotti is equally great. I think Mourinho will also succeed back at Chelsea because he's a great manager," he said.
HARTE SIGNS FOR CHERRIES
IAN HARTE has signed up for another stint of Championship football after he agreed a deal with newly-promoted Bournemouth, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.
Harte was axed by Reading following their relegation from the Premier League last season but the Drogheda man was eager to work with Cherries boss Eddie Howe on a one-year deal.
Meanwhile former Ireland man Eddie Nolan has signed a new deal with Scunthorpe United.
And Limerick FC are delighted that striker Craig Curran has extended his loan deal from Rochdale to allow him see out the rest of the League of Ireland season.