The summer of 2013 is probably going to be the most important ones in European football for quite some time. It may well define the future of the continents footballing landscape as several of Europe's biggest clubs are set for significant changes.
Barcelona will begin their quest at redemption, Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back after a dismal campaign, Arsenal will be looking to ensure their future by dipping into their pursestrings a little deeper than in previous years while their bitter rivals Tottenham will be planning an assault on not only the top four but on establishing itself as an elite club after an encouraging season.
AC Milan will be looking to go to the next level with it's young and exciting team while neighbours Inter Milan are in need of some serious repairs after one of their worst seasons in recent history. PSG will look to continue its progression as one of Europe's elite clubs by splashing the cash once more while Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of German and European football.
The Premier League will face a raft of changes among the upper echelons as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all set to begin the 2013/14 season with new managers.
Many believe it's this trio that will be thrashing out another title race in the world's most exciting domestic league competition, however there is an air of uncertainty that clouds them as they search for their next managers, leaving for a mouthwatering season. One man who is almost certain to take the post at one of the three hot-seats is Jose Mourinho, who is set to make a sensational return to Stamford Bridge.
Over the past three seasons there has been a significant shift in the Premier League as Manchester City have risen to become Manchester United's primary rival in the battle for league glory.
For so long it was Arsenal, then it was Chelsea and now the 'noisy neighbours' from the blue half of Manchester.
City's steady rise has coincided with the fall of Chelsea as a legitimate title contender as an ageing team have looked to be on their last legs.
Despite having won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup in the last two seasons, finishes of second, sixth and third place in the league has simply not been good enough.
The fact that Chelsea have had four managers during this time will not have helped, but with the impending appointment of Mourinho there is a feeling that Chelsea will be the team to beat in England come next season in a dramatic reversal of fortunes.
With Sir Alex Ferguson's reign at Old Trafford over, and Roberto Mancini being given his marching orders at Manchester City, Mourinho will enter next season as the most high profile and most experienced Premier League manager in terms of negotiating a title race amongst the top three of United, City and Chelsea.
David Moyes has done a remarkable job at Everton on a limited budget but managing one of the biggest clubs on the planet is a completely different kettle of fish, so the jury is still out on the Scotsman on whether he can deliver the goods. The structures and support networks are there for Moyes to make a smooth transition into filling the large boots vacated by Sir Alex Ferguson, but we have seen many 'good' managers succumb to the pressures attached to managing a big club.
Manuel Pellegrini is being touted as the next Manchester City boss and he too has a magnificent track record with smaller clubs most notably with Villarreal and recently Malaga.
However, the Chilean tactician's first and only season with a top club (Real Madrid) yielded no trophies and therefore a dismissal as he failed to get the modern Galactico's to fire. With no previous Premier League experience, Pellegrini will need time to adapt and that could take an indefinite amount of time.
In recent years it's fair to say that United and City have made the most of their stability in their managerial positions compared to the chaos that has continued to ensue at Stamford Bridge with its revolving door of managers.
Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo and Rafa Benitez have all managed the club at some point over the last three seasons, and therefore the managerial instability has contributed greatly to the poor league form.
With the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea can catapult themselves into pole position for glory for not only the upcoming season, but enjoy a period of sustained success off the back of the stability the 'Special One' would bring.
Mourinho has stressed that he will only come back if given greater control over team proceedings and therefore his reappointment may well signal a long term tenure given that the reason for his exit in 2007 was down to internal power disputes not performance related.
In the space of a season, a Jose Mourinho led Chelsea can become the team to beat in England and even abroad with an experienced and stable manager who is in for the long haul, rather than flirting with turbulence and inconsistency like in the last three seasons with manager after manager.
During these uncertain times among the Premier Leagues's elite, Chelsea have an opportunity to move ahead with the arrival of a familiar face when the 'second coming' of Jose Mourinho eventually materialises.
He will drive home his famous winning mentality to a relatively new set of players with some old familiar faces are still holding down the fort in Cech, Terry, Lampard and Cole.
While Moyes with Manchester United, and probably Pellegrini with Manchester City, take time to adapt to each other, Chelsea and Mourinho can rekindle a fire that is still yet to burn it's brightest,.
Winning the Champions League once more with the Blue of London will no doubt be the number one priority for Mourinho and Chelsea to complete this great modern day love affair.
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