Friday 23 March 2018

Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea on a four-year deal

Jose Mourinho pictured earlier this year during his time with Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho pictured earlier this year during his time with Real Madrid
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho watches on the sidelines during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Osasuna last Saturday
Jose Mourinho hosts a press conference in 2006
A youthful-looking Jose Mourinho at Chelsea in 2004
Jose Mourinho winks at the media during at a Chelsea game away at Old Trafford in 2006
Jose Mourinho in 2006

Jim van Wijk

CHELSEA this afternoon confirmed the return of Jose Mourinho as manager on a four-year deal.


The 50-year-old Portuguese coach travelled to London today to complete the formalities of a return to Stamford Bridge after his exit from Real Madrid was confirmed.

Mourinho managed Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, leading the west London club to successive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006.

The 50-year-old succeeds interim manager Rafael Benitez, who had replaced Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012, and following some initial difficulties went on to guide the Blues to a third-place finish as well as winning the Europa League.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said on the club's official website, "I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate.

"It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that.

"He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again."

Mourinho will bring assistant coaches Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais to Stamford Bridge and they will work alongside current first-team staff Steve Holland, Christophe Lollichon and Chris Jones.

Chelsea's new boss can quickly fire the west London club back into being a "major force" in the Barclays Premier League and Champions League next season, according to former Blues defender Ron Harris.

Harris - who made more than 600 appearances for Chelsea between 1961 and 1980 - is in no doubt Mourinho can push the club back into contention for a first Premier League title since 2010.

"If you have a look at every club Jose has been to, he has always been successful," Harris told Press Association Sport.

"People will say he has not done that well at Real Madrid, but he took an unfashionable club like Porto to winning the Champions League, and did the same thing at Inter Milan.

"If he was to come back to Chelsea again, and with one or two adjustments to the squad they will be a major force, challenging for all the major honours again next season.

"If you look defensively, they are quite sound, maybe they will be bringing in another full-back, then a midfield player and another striker or wide player, that would give Chelsea an awesome squad of players."

Mourinho also expressed his love for Chelsea after his era as Real Madrid boss ended on Saturday night with a 4-2 win over Osasuna in the Primera Division.

Before he left Spain, Mourinho spoke to TV football show Punto Pelota about his future plans.

"I'm going to London on Monday and at the end of the week I will be the manager of Chelsea," he said.

"I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that. Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you."

Mourinho is expected to bring in some reinforcements ahead of the new season, with £15million-rated Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi a reported target.

The new Blues manager will look to shape his squad during their tour of Asia, which sees matches in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta from July 17.

Press Association

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