Chelsea confirm Jose Mourinho as new manager
Chelsea this afternoon confirmed the return of Jose Mourinho as manager on a four-year deal.
The 50-year-old Portuguese coach travelled to London today to complete the formalities of a return to Stamford Bridge after his exit from Real Madrid was confirmed.
Mourinho managed Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, leading the west London club to successive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006.
The 50-year-old succeeds interim manager Rafael Benitez, who had replaced Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012, and following some initial difficulties went on to guide the Blues to a third-place finish as well as winning the Europa League.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said on the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate.
"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."
Mourinho will bring assistant coaches Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais to Stamford Bridge and they will work alongside current first-team staff Steve Holland, Christophe Lollichon and Chris Jones.
Chelsea's new boss can quickly fire the west London club back into being a "major force" in the Barclays Premier League and Champions League next season, according to former Blues defender Ron Harris.
Harris - who made more than 600 appearances for Chelsea between 1961 and 1980 - is in no doubt Mourinho can push the club back into contention for a first Premier League title since 2010.
"If you have a look at every club Jose has been to, he has always been successful," Harris told Press Association Sport.
"People will say he has not done that well at Real Madrid, but he took an unfashionable club like Porto to winning the Champions League, and did the same thing at Inter Milan.
"If he was to come back to Chelsea again, and with one or two adjustments to the squad they will be a major force, challenging for all the major honours again next season.
"If you look defensively, they are quite sound, maybe they will be bringing in another full-back, then a midfield player and another striker or wide player, that would give Chelsea an awesome squad of players."
Mourinho also expressed his love for Chelsea after his era as Real Madrid boss ended on Saturday night with a 4-2 win over Osasuna in the Primera Division.
Before he left Spain, Mourinho spoke to TV football show Punto Pelota about his future plans.
"I'm going to London on Monday and at the end of the week I will be the manager of Chelsea," he said.
"I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that.
"Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you."
Mourinho is expected to bring in some reinforcements ahead of the new season, with £15million-rated Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi a reported target.
The new Blues manager will look to shape his squad during their tour of Asia, which sees matches in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta from July 17.
JOSE MOURINHO FACTFILE
1963: Born January 26. Father Felix Mourinho was a former Portugal goalkeeper.
1992: After middle-ranking jobs at Estrela Amadora and Vitoria Setubal, works as Bobby Robson's translator at Sporting Lisbon before becoming involved in team affairs.
1993: Moves to Porto with Robson.
1996: Joins Barcelona as assistant coach to Robson.
1997: Stays on under new coach Louis van Gaal.
2000: Lasts nine games as coach of Benfica before resigning due to problems in the boardroom.
2001: Appointed coach of Uniao de Leiria.
2002: Joins Porto.
2003: In Mourinho's first full season in charge, Porto win the treble of domestic league, cup and UEFA Cup.
2004: Porto win the league and add the Champions League, with 3-0 victory over Monaco.
June 2 - Appointed Chelsea manager.
2005: February 27 - Wins Carling Cup with final defeat of Liverpool.
April - Chelsea seal Premier League title with 2-0 win at Bolton.
2006: April - Chelsea claim a second consecutive Premier League title and Mourinho's fourth domestic title in a row.
2007: February - Chelsea win Carling Cup, beating Arsenal 2-1.
May - Chelsea lose Champions League semi-final to Liverpool, but win the FA Cup against Manchester United.
August - Chelsea set a new record of 64 unbeaten home matches in the English top flight with win over Birmingham.
September - Leaves Chelsea by "mutual consent".
2008: June - Appointed Inter Milan boss on a three-year contract.
August - Wins Italian Supercup with victory over Roma.
2009: May 16 - Wins Serie A at the first attempt.
May 25 - Signs a contract extension at Inter until 2012.
2010: March - Inter knock Chelsea out of the Champions League in the last 16.
May 5 - Inter win the Coppa Italia.
May 16 - Mourinho claims his second Serie A title with Inter.
May 22 - Guides Inter to Champions League triumph with a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.
May 26 - Madrid part company with coach Manuel Pellegrini and approach Mourinho.
May 31 - Unveiled as Real Madrid coach.
2011: May 3 - Madrid lose Champions League semi-final to Barcelona.
August 18 - Appears to poke then Barcelona assistant manager Tito Vilanova in the eye during Super Copa defeat at the Nou Camp.
2012: May 2 - Guides Madrid to their first Primera Division title in four years.
May 22 - Signs contract extension until June 2016.
August - Leads Madrid to a Super Copa victory over Barcelona.
April - After eliminating Manchester United, Madrid are beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-finals.
May 17 - Madrid lose the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid, meaning the season ends without major silverware.
May 20 - It is confirmed that Mourinho will leave Real after the final game of the season against Osasuna.
June 3: Chelsea confirm Mourinho has returned to the club as manager on a four-year contract.
Belfast Telegraph Digital