Mourinho to Chelsea link continues after Real Madrid approach Ancelotti
Jose Mourinho continues to be linked with a return to Chelsea after PSG block an approach for Carlo Ancelotti from Real Madrid
Speculation linking Jose Mourinho with a return to Chelsea heightened on Monday after it emerged Real Madrid have had an approach for Carlo Ancelotti rejected by Paris Saint-Germain.
Mourinho is the overwhelming favourite to take over from interim boss Rafael Benítez at Stamford Bridge ahead of next season as his spell at the Bernabeu looks increasingly set to come to an acrimonious end.
And it appears Madrid are already on the lookout for Mourinho’s successor after PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi revealed that the newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions have been forced to fend off interest in their head coach from the Spanish giants.
“A few days ago, Real Madrid’s director general [Jose Ángel Sánchez] contacted me to talk to Ancelotti,” Al-Khelaifi told French newspaper L’Equipe.
“Very quickly, I told them: ‘If you wish to hire Carlo, let me remind you that he still has a year left on his contract. So please respect his contract and respect us.'”
Al-Khelaifi continued: “He [Sánchez] apologised and said that he thought Carlo’s contract ran out at the end of the season. I told him that he was mistaken and that Carlo had a year left on his deal here. He told me that they would take that into account. But we want Ancelotti to stay.”
Mourinho, whose side surrendered their La Liga crown to Barcelona at the weekend following their 1-1 draw at Espanyol, has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League and recently stated that he wants to be at club “where people love me to be”.
“I know in England I am loved,” he said earlier this month. “I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one.”
The Portuguese coach guided the Blues to back-to-back Premier League titles during his spell in charge at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007.
Since leaving the Premier League, Mourinho has gone on to win a combined seven trophies with Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Frank Lampard – whose own future remains unclear, with his contract set to expire in the summer – said last week that he would be delighted to see Mourinho return to the club.
“I think it would be a great thing for the club [if Mourinho were to return], I think he is a fantastic manager,” said Lampard, who became Chelsea’s all-time record goal-scorer after hitting a brace at Aston Villa on Saturday.
“He is certainly one of the greatest managers, if not the greatest, in world football, so I’m sure the club and the fans will be happy to have him.”
Chelsea’s immediate focus, however, is on attempting to end a turbulent season on a high by beating Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam on Wednesday night.