THE ARRIVAL of decorated manager Jose Mourinho at Chelsea is ideal for both parties, according to former midfielder Michael Ballack.
Despite Mourinho’s declaration of love for the Blues, following his appointment on Monday, some sceptics questioned whether either club or manager had got their first wish.
Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was said to be an admirer of Pep Guardiola and hopeful of appointing him to succeed interim manager Rafael Benitez this summer until the former Barcelona boss agreed to join European champions Bayern Munich.
While Mourinho was thought to be keen on the Manchester United dugout as the next destination for his services.
However Ballack, who won the FA Cup and League Cup at Chelsea in 2007, the Portuguese boss’ final season in charge at Stamford Bridge, believes the reunion is a recipe for success.
“To have Jose Mourinho at Chelsea is a fantastic decision,” said the former Germany international, who spent four seasons at Stamford Bridge.
“He is a great character and a great coach. Even at his age he has had unbelievable success.
“To go back to a club like this, it is never a bad decision. Chelsea are a fantastic club, they won the Champions League last year and this year the Europa League.
“The money will be right for him, the fans love him, he has a lot of English supporters, even if they don’t support Chelsea.
“Altogether it is a great package for him.”
Mourinho signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge on Monday and said he would work to try and improve the current players in the squad before looking to splash the cash.
However, with a lack of strength in the striking department, a new forward could be first on Mourinho’s shopping list.
Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored just 10 goals between them in the Premier League last term and the Blues had to sweat until the final day of the season before they were guaranteed a top-three finish and consequently automatic Champions League qualification.
Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Hulk and Fiorentina’s Steven Jovetic have been earmarked as possible targets, should Abramovich be willing to sanction a move for either player.
That could spell the end at Stamford Bridge for Belgium starlet Romelu Lukaku, who spent last season out on loan at West Brom, scoring 17 Premier League goals in 35 appearances – including a hat-trick on the final day of the season against Manchester United – and is unlikely to accept being moved further down the pecking order.