Andre Villas-Boas’ dismissal at Chelsea over the weekend has led to mass speculation regarding his potential successor at Stamford Bridge, with Jose Mourinho emerging as 13/8 favourite to make a sensational return to the club.
The circumstances in which Mourinho initially left the club would seem to make any potential return appear far-fetched, but owner Roman Abramovich may now see the Real Madrid boss as the ideal solution to a sequence of stop-gap and below-par appointments, with the exceptions of Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.
With a superlative record in his time apart from Abramovich and Chelsea, Mourinho has only served to further enhance his reputation by completing the treble with Inter Milan, which included a second Champions League title after a previous victory with Porto, and he now looks certain to break Barcelona’s dominance of La Liga this season also.
As Abramovich values the Champions League above any other competition, there is every chance he could accept Mourinho as his best chance of delivering success in that tournament, and offer him a return to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho’s popularity at the London club, and in English football in general, is undoubted, and having made clear his intentions to return to Premier League management in the not too distant future, the circumstances could be perfect for ‘The Special One’ to pick up where he left off.
Among the other candidates, 7/2 caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo is popular among fans, but his managerial role is likely to extend to the summer at the latest, as Abramovich will likely opt for a candidate with greater experience at a top level club.
Former Valencia and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who delivered European glory to Anfield, is 3/1 to take charge, but Blues fans are thought to be against the idea of the Spaniard taking over and made their feelings known in the FA Cup success over Birmingham.
Everything would seem to point to a Mourinho return that would delight fans, and offer almost a guarantee of success, so getting behind the 13/8 for him to be the next permanent Chelsea manager looks a wise move.