Man Utd call may be too strong for Chelsea chief to ignore

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Jose Mourinho is now just 10/1 to take over from David Moyes as Manchester United manager, amid rumours that the Old Trafford hierarchy have finally seen the light regarding the two-time Champions League-winning Portuguese.

Mourinho was reportedly willing to shun Chelsea last summer in favour of the north west giants, but United ultimately ignored his claims and appointed Moyes, with the rest – as they say – becoming history.

The 51-year-old was handed a four-year-contract upon his return to Stamford Bridge, but with the Blues’ season in real danger of ending potless – they’re 33/1 to win the Premier League and 9/2 outsiders for the Champions League – Mourinho’s position looks far from secure.

Carlo Ancelotti was the last Chelsea boss to finish the season with no silverware, which led to the Italian being shown the door less than 12 months after completing the domestic double. Ancelotti went on to win Ligue 1 with PSG and now manages 8/5 Champions League favourites Real Madrid.

His successor, Andre Villas-Boas, lasted just nine months before feeling the sharp end of Roman Abramovich’s Cuban heels, and the Blues have been through Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez since, despite the pair landing a European trophy each during their short stints in west London.

To put a fine point on it, no manager – however special – can rest on their laurels at Chelsea and Mourinho has cut an increasingly forlorn figure since returning to Stamford Bridge amid reports that Financial Fair Play constraints will curb Abramovich’s enthusiasm for spending big.

The ‘little horse’ analogy used after the 1-0 win at Manchester City, in relation to Chelsea’s chances of winning the title, revealed plenty about how Mourinho sees the club he won successive Premier Leagues with during his first spell in charge.

Combined with the constant criticism of the Stamford Bridge striking contingent it’s clear that Mourinho harbours concerns about Chelsea’s ability to keep up with Europe’s big guns and, based on the past form of both club and coach, it would be no surprise to see a second divorce this summer.

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