Jose Mourinho is the subject of conflicting reports surrounding a potential return to Stamford Bridge. The manager, who previously held the Chelsea post from 2004-2007, might report back to his old stomping grounds after signing a four-year deal to replace interim boss Rafa Benitez, according to Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports:
Martin Rogers @mrogersUSAT
English papers will report Friday that Jose Mourinho has agreed four-yr deal to become new boss of #Chelsea and will fly to London on June 25/24/2013, 1:00:18 AM
However, a conflicting report comes from Pedro Pinto of CNN World Sport. Pinto reports that a source close to Mourinho says that there's no confirmation of a deal with the Blues as of yet, and that the announcement of a deal wouldn't take place until he leaves on June 3rd.
Benitez replaced Roberto Di Matteo last November. He led the Blues to a Europa League title and a spot in next season's Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League. He wasn't retained on a full-time basis, however, opening the door for Mourinho's potential return.
The 50-year-old Portuguese manager would be leaving Real Madrid and La Liga to return for Chelsea. He signed an extension that was expected to keep him in Spain through 2016, but it was announced before the end of the campaign that he would be leaving the club.
Chelsea was the expected destination all along. Mourinho would take over a club that isn't short on talent but struggled to keep pace with EPL champions Manchester United after an initial surge.
The good news for the "Special One" is that he understands the surroundings. Although time has passed since his first stint with the club, the goals (EPL and UCL success, high-profile signings) have remained the same, as have the pressures of the Chelsea job.
Mourinho's first stay with the club came to an abrupt end in 2007. After winning two Premier League titles, he left early in the 2007-08 campaign on "mutual consent," but a problematic relationship with owner Roman Abramovich has been cited as a contributing factor.
Whatever issues did allegedly exist have clearly been smoothed over. And, as always, winning will further bury the hatchet.
The task for Mourinho is to get Chelsea back into championship contention. Finishing in the top three is an acceptable result, but it's not what the Blues or their supporters want. They want trophies, and Chelsea finished 14 points off Manchester United's pace.
The veteran manager has done it before, and the Blues hope he can do it again. The transition will be a quick one, as the task of finding players to close the gap with United begins.
In other words, Chelsea need some Jose Mourinho magic. The club will soon find out what tricks he's got up his sleeve in his second stint, which both sides hope will be at least as successful as the first.