By Alan Baldwin and Iain Rogers
Chelsea welcomed back Jose Mourinho, their ‘Special One’, as manager for the second time on a four-year contract on Monday.
The Portuguese, who left Real Madrid last weekend, won the 2005 and 2006 Premier League titles in his first spell with the west London club but departed in 2007 after falling out with billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.
“I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate,” said chief executive Ron Gourlay in a club statement.
“It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that.
“He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again.”
The news came as no surprise, with Mourinho earlier telling a Spanish TV soccer show that he hoped to take charge at Chelsea by the end of the week.
Mourinho ended his three-year reign at Real Madrid with a 4-2 home La Liga win over Osasuna at the weekend.
“I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that,” said the 50-year-old, who first joined Chelsea in 2004.
“Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you,” added Mourinho, who has also enjoyed successful spells as coach of Porto and Inter Milan.
Mourinho will be accompanied by three staff – Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais – as assistant first team coaches working alongside current first team staff Steve Holland, Christophe Lollichon and Chris Jones.
Chelsea said he will be officially presented in a news conference at Stamford Bridge on Monday, June 10.