Ex-Chelsea Star Claims Benitez Will Give Way to Mourinho
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 22, 2013 8:52 PM EST
Former Chelsea midfielder Ruud Gullit claims Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is set for a sensational summer return to Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese manager was at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007 and won two Premier League titles and an FA Cup in that time.
The Blues are presently headed by ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who was hired after owner Roman Abramovich sacked Champions League-winning Roberto Di Matteo in November. Gullit, who also coached the west London club briefly, believes Benitez is a stop-gap arrangement, to ensure the club remains in the Champions League for next season.
"Rafa Benitez's main objective this season is to qualify for the Champions League and then to make way for Jose Mourinho. I have a gut feeling that Mourinho will come back to Chelsea," Gullit explained.
"I have a feeling that he was meant to come back after the Champions League final but then when Chelsea won it I think he thought better of it. It's no coincidence that right after the final he signed a new contract with Real Madrid," the 50-year-old told talkSPORT.
Mourinho's time at the Santiago Bernabeu seems to be coming to a controversial and bitter end. The defending champions are hopelessly off the pace in La Liga and have all but conceded the tile to arch-rivals Manchester United. They remain in contention for the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League but face tough second legs in both competitions, at Barcelona and Old Trafford respectively.
The ex-Inter Milan boss has often spoken of his desire to return to the Premier League and was strongly linked with a move to United in the summer, when, it was presumed, Sir Alex Ferguson would finally retire. However, despite the rumours, Ferguson appears in no mood to relinquish control and Abramovich is keen to bring Mourinho back, having lost prime candidate Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich.
Hazard the Hero
Meanwhile, the Blues' Europa League adventures are set to continue. Chelsea beat Czech side Sparta Prague 2-1 on aggregate, after a late Eden Hazard strike secured a 1-1 draw at the Bridge. The club now faces Romanian side FC Steaua Bucureşti.
Gullit emphasised the importance of winning the Europa League and said the club ran the risk of even greater ridicule if they do not take this competition seriously.
"They shouldn't underestimate the Europa League. It's still a trophy. The competition isn't as important as they're used to, because they have been in the Champions League, but you cannot afford to take these games lightly. It's a European competition. For the club and players it's something to achieve," the ex-Dutch international said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao Begins Training Sans Freddie Roach
- Rafael Nadal’s Coach Reveals The Spanish Athlete Will Be Back On Court Soon
- Boxing News 2014: Showtime VP Favours Pacquiao As Mayweather’s Next Ring Opponent; Money May Insists Fight Should Be Over Showtime PPV Only
- Three Reasons Why Brock Lesnar Must Fight The Undertaker At Night Of Champions And Not John Cena [VIDEO]
- Michael Schumacher Rehabilitation Update: F1 Champion In-Home Health Care And Services Consist Of 15 Medical Staff
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MF 370: Indonesian Police Chief Claims He Knows What Happened To Missing Jet