Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/4/13
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Chelsea FC is determined to bring Jose Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge, and owner Roman Abramovich might even change his ways to make it happen. Mourinho has become Chelsea’s top choice to replace Rafa Benitez as manager starting next season. The Premier League club is ready to outbid the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to land “the Special One,” according to the London Evening Standard. “The Portuguese is willing to listen to offers, although he will also be a target for Paris St-Germain and Manchester City should they remove Carlo Ancelotti or Roberto Mancini respectively at the end of the season,” the report says. “One of the stumbling blocks regarding Mourinho has always been the fact that [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich paid the former Porto coach around £18 million [$28.4 million] in compensation when he was fired and the Russian would be admitting to making an expensive mistake. That is no longer the issue, but the power struggle of who makes the key decisions at the club will have to be addressed. “Mourinho will want to be in complete control of team affairs from top to bottom but Abramovich has a number of key advisors, including technical director Michael Emenalo. “It is likely the latter would have to go for Mourinho to come back, although the Nigerian is in a vulnerable position anyway due to the inconsistent form of the squad this season.” Last month, it was reported that Mourinho has been in regular contact with Abramovich and several key figures inside of the Chelsea dressing room. The news fueled speculation that the current Real Madrid manager is unofficially advising the club with which he won five major trophies in three years. It is widely assumed that he will leave Real Madrid at the end of the 2012-13 season, and he could be paving the way for a Chelsea return. The issue of total control is one factor that caused Mourinho’s relationship with Real Madrid to deteriorate. That same issue could lure Mourinho back to Chelsea. Abramovich’s hands-on ownership style has soured Pep Guardiola and other candidates on the idea of managing Chelsea. It’s likely that Abramovich is aware of how he is perceived, and he might be willing to delegate control to someone in whom he has a great deal of trust, namely Mourinho. The Russian billionaire may have to do just that to prevent his empire from falling. 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.
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