If you listen to Blues star Eden Hazard talk about the current Madrid boss, his return would help spark the club to heights not reached since Mourinho left the club and provide current players with the chance to learn under a manager that Hazard calls a near "god."
High praise for a man not yet on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge.
However, Chelsea is very familiar with their old boss, having last seen him on the home side in 2007—right before he and the Chelsea bosses agreed to part ways because of creative differences.
Mourinho was arguably already the club's most successful manager at the time of his exit/dismissal (whatever you want to call it), bringing home six trophies in three years and failing to lose a home match in Premier League play during that process.
During his time at Stamford Bridge (2004-07), Mourinho held a 124-40-21 record and took the Blues to the semifinals of the Champions League bracket twice.
Hazard's comments on Tuesday affirm that Chelsea is itching to get Mourinho back into the fold once Rafa Benitez is done with his interim job in the Europa League final (via Goal.com):
I would like [Mourinho] to come here, Hazard told L'Equipe. Mourinho is the best coach in the world...Everyone is talking about him here. He is not god, but almost. The fans and the players love him. I wait and see....First I am thinking of finishing the season, then going for a holiday. I will get any news in the press.
Hazard wasn't at Stamford Bridge the last time Mourinho was roaming the sidelines, but his teammate and captain, Frank Lampard, certainly was.
Chelsea's most storied midfielder spoke out about the club's most famous manager, too, crediting Mourinho as being influential in his career for the three seasons he was with Chelsea and noting that the Portuguese manager is the rare boss who can get the best out of his players while maintaining team morale (via the Daily Mail):
An elite manager is all about man-management and how you get on with players. Jose was the best. He formed a spirit in the team that was formidable. We didn’t have a group mentality to win the league, but he brought it in.
Glowing recommendations like that will make Chelsea fans love this move even more, as will the fact that Lampard is reportedly gearing up to extend his Blues contract and avoid the summer transfer window for good.
Other news surrounding a potential Mourinho move include the fact that Real bosses reportedly went after Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti (via Daily Mail) and reports that Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo has completely lost faith in his manager after cameras caught him cussing out the Madrid bench following his 200th career goal (via Daily Mail).
If you also listen to tweets like this from Goal.com's Ben Hayward, it's merely a forgone conclusion that Mourinho will be back in blue by the end of the month—a trend that continues to see La Liga coaches siphoned off by EPL clubs:
Ben Hayward @bghayward
First Guardiola, now Pellegrini and Mourinho to follow... It's a shame to see the best coaches leaving La Liga.5/14/2013, 10:14:06 PM
Mourinho is a marked man in Madrid, and it appears that "The Special One" will be back to help Chelsea battle it out with Manchester United, Manchester City and the rest of the EPL table for the next few years.
He's clearly been receptive to the move for quite some time, never ruling out the possibility and always staying diplomatic about his loyalty to Los Blancos and his La Liga contract.
However, dream jobs only come along once in a lifetime. The fact that Mourinho might get a chance to recapture his past glory and do it with a squad that has some of his holdovers is just icing on the cake and defies normal logic about the "once in a lifetime" theory.
Mourinho has been afforded (if a deal comes together following the Europa League final) the ability to say he twice managed to sign the deal of a lifetime with a club that clearly adores everything about what he did for it before being sent away.
With all due respect to Benitez and what he's done for the Blues, "The Special One" likely has his bags packed and his schedule cleared to find a way to transfer back to England in the very near future.
Recommendations like those from Hayward only make rumors surrounding his Madrid exit/Chelsea arrival more substantial.
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