Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/26/13
Jose Mourinho is one step closer to returning to Chelsea FC. The self-proclaimed “Special One” has tentatively agreed to become Chelsea’s manager starting next season. A formal deal hinges on where Chelsea finishes in the Premier League and the makeup of the senior management team, according to the Star. “The 50-year-old has not agreed to go back to Stamford Bridge yet, because he does not want to be disrespectful to Real Madrid,” the report says. “He also is not keen on taking charge at Stamford Bridge if the Blues do not qualify for the Champions League. “Mourinho is also believed to have a list of demands that include getting rid of chief executive Ron Gourlay and technical director Michael Emenalo. “He has a list of transfer targets, which he will want assurances over.” Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reached the conclusion that Mourinho is the best person to unite the club and lead it into the future. Abramovich reportedly offered Mourinho a three-year contract, which the Portuguese tactician agreed to but did not sign. If the report is correct, it would signal a dramatic change of course (and perhaps an admission of failure) on the part of the hands-on Russian billionaire. Mourinho managed the Blues from 2004-07, winning four major trophies and a world of admiration. But his tenure at Stamford Bridge came to a stunning end in September 2007 when he was fired after losing a power-struggle with Abramovich. Mourinho has successfully managed Inter Milan (2008-10) and Real Madrid (2010-present) since then. Mourinho and Abramovich have reportedly mended their rift, and the two communicate on a regular basis. Many expect Mourinho to leave Real Madrid at the end of this season. Paris Saint-Germain reportedly wants to bring him to France, but Chelsea could have the inside track. Mourinho recently bought a house in West London, and his 16-year-old daughter has enrolled in a school nearby. Should Mourinho return to Chelsea, he would replace Rafa Benitez. The current Chelsea manager is unpopular with the fans and is expected to leave the club when his interim contract expires in the summer. Abramovich apparently believes Mourinho is the man to correct the mistakes of the past and bring that special sizzle back to Chelsea. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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