Football

Chelsea sack Mourinho, appoint Hiddink

Jose Mourinho has been sacked for the second time by Chelsea just seven months after guiding them to the English Premier League title.

The Portuguese tactician leaves Stamford Bridge with the Blues languishing in 16th place – just two places above the relegation zone – after a calamitous start to the season which saw Chelsea lose nine of their 16 league games.

A statement from the west London club read: "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent.

"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.

"His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history.

"But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.

"The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea."

Mourinho rejoined Chelsea in 2013 and previously enjoyed a successful spell at the club from 2004 to 2007.

Target: Guardiola?

While Chelsea are yet to make an announcement on a replacement, several media outlets have reported that Dutchman Guus Hiddink will once again take the reins in the interim.

The former Holland and PSV Eindhoven coach was installed temporarily as Chelsea manager after the club sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari in February 2009.

Hiddink has also been touted to land the job on a permanent basis alongside Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, Juande Ramos and ex-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who previously worked at Chelsea as a youth coach.

Should Chelsea opt to pursue Guardiola, the clock could be ticking on under-fire Louis van Gaal as Manchester United are believed to be keen on bringing the ex-Barcelona boss to Old Trafford.

Sources: BBC, Daily Telegraph

CHELSEA (EPL)FootballJose MourinhoGuus Hiddinkeplpep guardiolaManchester Unitedlouis van gaal