3 Key Factors in Jose Mourinho's Rumoured Chelsea Return
Jose Mourinho's on-and-off return to Chelsea will be the biggest story of the summer. His future is still uncertain, and it would be ideal for both the media and Mourinho himself if the story drags out for a few more weeks.
The deal seems to hinge on three key factors, outlined in the following slides.
The Old Guard
There are four Mourinho players currently at Chelsea who will certainly be at the club next season: John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel and Petr Cech.
Michael Essien is currently on loan at Real Madrid and could return to Stamford Bridge in the summer, but his ailing knees and his age will prevent him from playing the key role he had when Mourinho was in charge last time around.
If the club do decide to grant the midfielder an 11th-hour reprieve, alongside returning their most successful manager to Stamford Bridge, the bad blood between the fans and the board will be all but forgotten.
One of the catalysts for Mourinho's previous departure was Roman Abramovich's purchase of a 30-year-old Andriy Shevchenko for a fee of £30 million.
Whilst "the mask of Zorres" has rejuvenated Chelsea's latest expensive striker in recent weeks, there is no telling whether this improvement is permanent, and Mourinho would not want his glorious return marred by the Fernando Torres saga.
He also wants full control of all football matters, something that Abramovich will be loathe to concede. The Russian's desire to reinstate Mourinho will need to be stronger than his control-freak tendencies for the deal to go through, but if it does, there is great potential for a long and happy union.
Time to Build a Dynasty
The two have a great amount of respect for each other as shown during the Champions League matchup between United and Real Madrid this season, but it would be odd for Mourinho to attempt to continue the Fergie dynasty once the Scot retires.
Never one to stay in the shadows for long, it would be far more consistent with the Special One's profile for him to build a legacy of his own at a club that he loves, with the long-term goal of surpassing Sir Alex's longevity and success.
If Abramovich can step back, Chelsea would be the perfect fit for that dream.