60 second pundit
“Chelsea fans want Mourinho, I just don’t see it happening”
Like a benevolent Dickensian patriarch, Roman Abramovich appears determined to ensure everyone in the global footballing family gets a chance to play with his expensively assembled toys. Little Rafa’s time in the Chelsea playpen is coming to an end: whether he’s dragged away kicking and screaming at the weekend, after defeat by Wigan, or is allowed to keep pushing Fernando Torres-shaped blocks into Falcao-shaped holes until the summer, it is certain a new set of grubby mitts will be playing with Roman’s soldiers next season. But to whom will they belong?
The Mirror’s Martin Lipton is reluctant to home in on one man, instead adopting a scattergun approach. “It all depends on where Chelsea finish this year,” he says. “If they finish outside the top four, they can’t get someone from the top tier of management. Then they have to go for a former player – I suspect someone like Gus Poyet or Gianfranco Zola will get the gig. If they do finish top four – and they should, but you wouldn’t put money on it – then, potentially, David Moyes, or Manuel Pellegrini, or Jürgen Klopp, or Diego Simeone – whoever is the flavour of the week. But the Chelsea fans know who they want, I just don’t see it happening.”
That would be José Mourinho. The Real Madrid boss has already spent an extended period in the care of uncle Roman, and added some shiny cups to the Stamford Bridge toy chest, but a series of tantrums resulted in him being sent away without any supper in 2007. Have both parties grown up enough to allow the prodigal son to return home? Probably not, says the Times’ Rory Smith. “[Mourinho's] the outstanding candidate. He will be available [this summer], he’ll leave Real Madrid – I’m certain of that. But whether he’ll go back to Chelsea? It would require him or Abramovich to show some humility, and I don’t think either of those men are likely to do that.”
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