Time for Chelsea to bring back Mourinho


When the season comes to an end in May and the transfer window opens once again, the most high-profile mover before the start of the new campaign is unlikely to be a player.

Jose Mourinho's reported decision to leave Real Madrid in the summer - regardless of what he achieves at the Santiago Bernabeu this term - will ensure all eyes will, once again, be on the 49-year-old's potential destination.

According to the Sunday Times, Mourinho is desperate for a move back to the Premier League after growing tired of his treatment in the Madrid press and failing to unite the Real dressing room.

The Portuguese is likely to attract overtures from mega-rich sides in the Middle East and free spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, but he has his heart set on a return to England.

Money is no longer a driving ambition for Mourinho, which is clear from the fact he is willing to forsake his £11.3 million yearly salary in Madrid for the adulation of the public and the media in England.

Of course, success is also a motivating factor for Mourinho but, such is his ego, a situation where he is constantly heralded rather than frequently criticised is one he is desperate to find once again.

The Premier League, then, is the perfect place for Mourinho win the adulation he so craves, and Stamford Bridge is the ideal setting for this to happen.

Chelsea have been unable to escape the shadow of Mourinho ever since he left the club in acrimonious fashion shortly after the start of the 2007-08 season.

Only Carlo Ancelotti has threatened to challenge the legacy of Mourinho in west London, but the Italian was clinically deposed only a year after leading the Blues to an historic Double success.

Roman Abramovich's decision to appoint Andre Villas-Boas as Ancelotti's successor was, seemingly more than anything, a love letter to Mourinho; an attempt to restore Chelsea to the club they were under the Portuguese maestro.

Abramovich's most astute judgement as Chelsea owner was to hire Mourinho in 2004 after huge success at Porto, and the Russian hoped the recruitment of Villas-Boas would follow a similar pattern after the latter broke the records of his former boss at the Estadio do Dragao.

But, although Villas-Boas speaks in terms of the long-term project he is trying to deliver at Chelsea, his failings at the helm this season are likely to see Abramovich question the 34-year-old's suitability to the role.

And, with arguably the finest manager of a generation supposedly set to become available at the end of the season, Abramovich would be foolish to not at least consider a sensational return to Chelsea for Mourinho.

They, of course, share differences of opinion but surely it is time for the duo to bury the hatchet in order for Abramovich to realise his dream of landing the Champions League.

It has been the inability to deliver glory on the continent by all of his employees that has prompted the Blues owner to hire and fire at will, but no manager is better suited to achieving his goals than Mourinho.

Chelsea are in danger of losing significant ground on Manchester City and Manchester United and, should he still be in charge next season, Villas-Boas faces a supreme test to transform the Blues into title contenders.

The appointment of Villas-Boas was heralded as the arrival of the 'new Mourinho' at Chelsea, but it is time the apprentice made way for the master and Abramovich secured the return of the Special One.

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