Guus Hiddink has edged towards a second stint as interim manager at Chelsea after holding talks with Stamford Bridge bosses.
The 69-year-old Dutchman arrived in London yesterday to meet with Chelsea chiefs over a short-term role to replace Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich also arrived at the club’s Cobham base yesterday, observing training but also overseeing negotiations with former Holland manager Hiddink.
Hiddink told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf he would listen to Chelsea’s proposals before deciding whether to return to the club he coached to the FA Cup title in 2009.
“I want to get some good insight before I make my decision,” said Hiddink. “I want as much information as possible. Chelsea are in a bad situation and there are reasons for that.”
Mourinho left his Chelsea post on Thursday, just seven months on from guiding the Blues to the Premier League title but also after suffering nine defeats in 16 league matches this term.
Hiddink would appear to be Chelsea’s preferred caretaker appointment while the likes of Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Antonio Conte are reported to be potential long-term successors to Mourinho.
Well-travelled Dutch veteran Hiddink is viewed as the perfect antidote to the dressing-room discontent that has coincided with Chelsea’s decline from defending champions into relegation battlers.
Chelsea had insisted Mourinho’s exit was by “mutual consent”, only for technical director Michael Emenalo to then cite “palpable discord” between the manager and the players for the 52-year-old’s departure.
However, defender John Terry expressed his regret at Mourinho’s exit on social media yesterday.
“Thank you doesn’t seem enough. Sad sad day,” Terry posted on Instagram.
“Gonna miss you Boss. The very best I have EVER worked with, unbelievable memories together.”
Hiddink stepped into the Stamford Bridge breach after Luiz Felipe Scolari’s sacking in 2009, and should now reprise that role.