A PROSPECTIVE summer reunion between Champions League chasing Chelsea and former manager Jose Mourinho could yet be blocked by a clause in his contract with current club Real Madrid.
Third-placed Chelsea, who entertain fifth-placed Tottenham tonight, will be in the hunt for a new boss this summer with Rafael Benitez set to depart later this month.
Mourinho looks increasingly likely to take over at Stamford Bridge, with Benitez yesterday teasing: “I think everybody knows who will be here.”
But Mourinho is digging his heels in at the Bernabeu, saying yesterday: “I have considered continuing”.
The sticking point is believed to be over compensation which will be due to either Real or Mourinho, depending on which party forces his seemingly inevitable departure.
The 50-year-old’s desire to be reunited with Chelsea, with whom he won two league titles in 2005 and 2006, could also be influenced by which continental competition the club is playing in next season.
And hoping to derail the Blues’ top four tilt is a former member of Mourinho’s coaching team, Andre Villas-Boas, now Spurs’s manager.
Villas-Boas was a 12-year-old schoolboy the last time Tottenham won at Stamford Bridge – a 2-1 victory in February 1990.
However, he is adamant the north London club are finally ready to end that miserable 25-game run and take a giant stride towards Champions League qualification.
“We’ve had an excellent season, we’ve beaten all the big teams in the country, apart from Chelsea, and we have an opportunity to go there and put ourselves with our destiny in our hands,” said Villas-Boas, who spent nine, largely unhappy, months at Chelsea last season.
“We have the motivation factors that go along with a fixture like this and we have the players’ ability, which is absolutely outstanding.
“The knowledge that I have [of Chelsea] I have tried to pass on to my players to see if it can help them in any way on their decision making.”
Sandwiched between Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League are Arsenal, whose goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has accused Spurs of lacking the quality to secure a top four finish.
However, Villas-Boas hit back at the credibility of those claims.
“It would be more realistic if those words came from a famous Arsenal fan,” he said. “I don’t expect any love from an Arsenal player to a Tottenham player.”