Monday, March 4News That Matters

Jose Mourinho ‘rejected’ chance to seal Chelsea return after secret talks

Jose Mourinho made it clear that he had no interest in a return to Chelsea after the AS Roma manager was approached to discuss a return to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have had a disappointing campaign and currently have former boss Frank Lampard in place as caretaker manager after dismissing Thomas Tuchel and his successor, Graham Potter.

Former Tottenham chief Mauricio Pochettino is now reported to be closing in on the Chelsea vacancy after positive discussions with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly.

But, new reports from Italy have claimed that the London side also reached out to one of the Portuguese coach for discussions over their vacant managerial role.

According to Corriere dello Sport, via Football Italia, Mourinho was contacted by a Chelsea director who wanted to gauge his interest in a return to Stamford Bridge, where he enjoyed success on two separate occasions under Roman Abramovich.

But Mourinho refused to participate in talks over the vacancy and is instead seeking talks with AS Roma chief Dan Friedkin in order to clarify his long-term future.

After a poor spell at Tottenham, Mourinho has rebuilt his reputation in Italy with Roma, who are sixth in Serie A but just four points behind second-placed Lazio.

Mourinho has also guided Serie A side Roma to the Europa League semi-finals after winning the Europa Conference League last year.

Mourinho is still a popular figure at Chelsea after guiding the Blues to three Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup triumph across two successful spells at the club.

He also had successful spells at Real Madrid and Inter Milan before returning to the Premier League to boss Manchester United and Tottenham in recent years.

His contract with Roma runs until the summer of 2024, but there has been interest in his services amid links with a return to Los Blanco and a move to Al-Nassr in recent months.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are expected to go ahead with plans to name Pochettino as their new manager after holding talks with the Argentine, who has been unattached since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

If Pochettino and Chelsea can finalise an agreement, it is said Lampard will see out the rest of the campaign in his interim role, with Pochettino taking charge from the summer.

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