Chelsea set to unveil return of Special One

Julian Harris
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FORMER Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho landed in London yesterday, with his return to Stamford Bridge expected to be confirmed today.

The two-time Premier League winner completed his reign at Real Madrid with a 4-2 win over Osasuna on Saturday, yet his season was marred by public fall-outs with several players while fierce rivals Barcelona ran away with La Liga.

Before arriving in the UK, he ended an interview yesterday with the words: “Now I go to where I want, where I like to live, where I like to work.”

And the Madrid club’s president, Florentino Perez, also said that Mourinho was set to return for a second stint in west London.

As Real’s campaign deteriorated in May following defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, Mourinho hinted heavily at a return to the Premier League. “I want to be where people love me to be,” he said a month ago. “I know in England I’m loved. I know I’m loved by some clubs, especially one.”

The Portuguese’s old managerial rival, Rafael Benitez, left Chelsea a little over a week ago following their end of season trip to the US, having led the Blues to Europa League success during his time as interim first team coach.

The vacancy left by Benitez was widely believed to be filled by Mourinho, who collected two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his first spell at Chelsea.

In September 2007 he left the club under a cloud, however. Despite being a fan-favourite, his relationship with Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was believed to have become strained. After a brief period out of the game, he joined Inter Milan where he won his second European Cup.

The Premier League was forced into an apology yesterday after its website accidentally published a news article on Saturday night saying that Mourinho had returned to Stamford Bridge.

“Portuguese coach is back at Stamford Bridge after signing a xx-year contact,” the website said before the story was removed. “It was a publishing error,” a spokesperson for the Premier League said. “We took it down as soon as we were notified of it. We’ve apologised to Chelsea.”