Peter Kenyon backs Jose Mourinho to be next Chelsea manager
Former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon believes Jose Mourinho is the standout candidate to take charge of the Blues
Former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon believes Jose Mourinho is the standout choice to succeed Blues interim manager Rafael Benítez in the summer.
The Real Madrid boss has been heavily linked with a return to Chelsea after expressing his desire to join a club where he feels “wanted” following his side’s semi-final loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.
The Portuguse coach, who won two Premier League titles during his reign at Stamford Bridge, has endured a difficult three-year spell at Madrid which has seen him battle with some of the club’s players and hierarchy.
With Los Blancos out of the Champions League and Barcelona on the brink of winning their 22nd La Liga title, Mourinho has been linked with a move to both Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.
And Kenyon, who was at Stamford Bridge between 2003 and 2009, reckons Mourinho is the best candidate to help restore Chelsea to the pinnacle of English football.
“If I was at another club and looking for someone who would give me the maximum chance of winning, it’s Jose Mourinho,” Kenyon told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“You’ve got one of the best clubs, one of the best owners and one of the best coaches – it’s a hard combination to resist.
“I’d need some other very strong candidates to look elsewhere and you’d have to say he’s very much on the shortlist.
“Pep Guardiola would have been up there, but he’s not available. Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini – you would definitely look at.
“But if I was looking at Pellegrini or Jose, Jose would win hands down.”
Jose Mourinho fact-file
• A former teacher, Mourinho had spells working at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona as a coaching assistant in the 1990s.
• As coach, he had a brief nine-game stay at Benfica and a highly successful tenure at Leiria before really making his mark after arriving at Porto in January 2002. In his first full season, 2002-03, Porto won the Uefa Cup and a domestic double. The next year they retained their league title and claimed the Champions League.
• Mourinho joined Chelsea in 2004 and led the club to the League Cup and their first league championship for 50 years in his first season. Followed up with the league title again in 2006, and both the League Cup and FA Cup in 2007.
• He left Chelsea in September 2007 and stayed out of football until joining Inter in June 2008. In his first campaign the Nerazzurri retained their Serie A crown, a feat they repeated in 2009-10 when they also added the Coppa Italia and the Champions League title, their first European Cup win since 1965.
• Victory at the Bernabeu was Mourinho’s last act as Inter coach before joining Madrid on a four-year deal. His first season featured the club’s first Copa del Rey victory in 18 years and a Champions League semi-final appearance, his second the Liga title and an end to Barcelona’s three successive championship triumphs.