Chelsea appear to be closing in on Guus Hiddink as their new manager after the Turkish Football Federation admitted he was likely to leave his post as national team boss.
According to the BBC, a source within the TFF has said that the 64-year-old wants to rejoin the Stamford Bridge for a second tenure and that he is likely to leave in the near future. It is understood that Chelsea will need to pay €4 million to prise Hiddink away.
Chelsea have been scouting for a new manager since the unkempt departure of Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season. Incidentally, the Italian maestro could return to the dugout at SW6 as an opponent next term after being strongly linked to the vacancy at Aston Villa.
In the home dugout, though, is likely to be Hiddink. After winning the FA Cup and narrowly losing out to Barcelona in the Champions League in a caretaker role in 2009, the former PSV and Real Madrid coach made a great impression on the players and owner, Roman Abramovich.
Hiddink, Marco van Basten, Harry Redknapp and Mark Hughes have all been front-runners for the job during a nervous period of uncertainty, but it now appears that Hiddink is Abramovich’s preferred candidate, who he hopes will win the elusive Champions League title that the Russian tycoon craves greatly.
Club captain, John Terry, admitted before England’s draw to Switzerland on Saturday that he would warmly welcome back the Dutchman to Stamford Bridge.
Terry said: “He came in for a short space of time and we won the FA Cup under him. I have great memories of him, he is someone I have been in contact with since he left the club.
“The players completely respected him. He knows the players inside out as well. He would be welcomed back. If it is to be him, then great.”
It was widely reported over the weekend that Hiddink would front a two-man management team with Mark Hughes by his side. The former Chelsea striker is available after resigning from his post at neighbours Fulham last week, but it is understood that Hiddink will stand alone if appointed.
Hughes’s agent tried to repair some damage over the weekend after it was reported that the Welshman would not be offered the Aston Villa job either. Kia Joorabchian said that Hughes’s controversial exit from Craven Cottage was concluded under “unfortunate circumstances” and that his departure was not linked to the Chelsea or Aston Villa vacancies.
by Tom Henman