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Jose Mourinho sacked by Chelsea: Guus Hiddink in line to replace 'The Special One'

Chelsea have sacked manager Jose Mourinho with Guus Hiddink being touted as his likely immediate successor.

Mourinho, the club's most successful manager, has been under intense pressure after to a disastrous start to the season - despite winning the league title just seven months ago.

In a statement the club said it had parted company with the manager by mutual consent.

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

Read more: Contenders to replace Jose Mourinho

"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. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.

Read more: Where will Pep Guardiola pop up in Premier League?

"The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential.

"There will be no further comment until a new appointment is made."

The champions have lost nine Premier League games and are just one point off the relegation zone and 20 behind the league leaders.

After Monday night's defeat to Leicester, the 52-year-old, who once proclaimed himself 'The Special One', blamed the players saying he was "ashamed".

Guus Hiddink, who has in the past managed the club and has ties with owner Roman Abramovich, has emerged as the front runner to take immediate charge until the end of the season.

Brendan Rodgers has also been touted as a possible interim boss until the end of the season, as too has Juande Ramos.

Read more: Reaction as Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea

Pep Guardiola will likely be the club's main target to take over the running of the club.

Mourinho is Chelsea's most successful manager and only signed a new four-year contract with the club in August.

He won three Premier League titles, three league cups and an FA Cup.

Today's sacking brings his second spell at the club to an end.

It has been reported he has a £40million compensation clause in his contract.

Pundits are suggesting he could find himself at Manchester United given Louis Van Gaal's strained management at Old Trafford.

















Those in the frame to replace Mourinho:

:: Brendan Rodgers

The Carnlough man is still without a job since he was sacked at Liverpool and has been touted as a replacement for his former mentor at the Bridge. Rodgers was a coach under Mourinho during his first spell at the club.

:: Carlo Ancelotti

Will Chelsea return for another man who enjoyed great success? The Italian, who won the 2010 Premier League and FA Cup double and finished second the following season before being sacked, is available after leaving Real Madrid. He was popular at Stamford Bridge and apparently wishes to return to England.

:: Pep Guardiola

The former Barcelona boss was reportedly coveted by Roman Abramovich while on sabbatical before the former Spain midfielder opted for Bayern Munich. His contract with the Bavarians ends this summer and speculation of a switch to Manchester City is growing in strength. But Chelsea may still try to tempt him.

:: Diego Simeone

The former Argentina midfielder has enjoyed a fine period as Atletico Madrid boss, breaching the hegemony of Barca and rivals Real with an attractive style, while beating Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup and Champions League in the process. The Blues have looked to Atletico for players, now for a manager?

Read more: Jose Mourinho fined and banned as Dr Eva Carneiro set to sue him

:: Fabio Capello

The autocratic Italian's reputation in England is far from strong after his poor reign as national team boss. But his club pedigree with AC Milan and Real Madrid is good and he is still in touch with his former England captain John Terry. He is out of work after leaving Russia and could be an interim option.

:: Guus Hiddink

If Chelsea need a stop-gap option, they could look to someone who has done the job before. No, not Rafael Benitez, who is now Real Madrid boss, but Dutchman Hiddink. His three-month spell from February 2009, after the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari, saw Chelsea win the FA Cup and finish third in the Premier League.

:: Antonio Conte

The Italy boss may not move ahead of Euro 2016, but reportedly has admirers among the Chelsea hierarchy. He had a glowing caeer at Juventus, first as a player, then as a manager, guiding them to three successive Serie A titles.

:: Massimiliano Allegri

The Italian led Juventus to the Serie A title and Champions League final in 2015 and could be an outside bet to replace Mourinho, but Chelsea have made bold choices in the past and it could happen again.

:: John Terry

The club captain, now 35, has been reading management books for the last few years and recently had Sir Alex Ferguson's "Leading" for company on a flight back from a match. Some have argued Terry has been in charge of Chelsea for years, maybe he could be handed the opportunity to prove it.

:: Juande Ramos

Former Tottenham boss would be a left-field appointment but has been mentioned often over recent days. Has has a long and well-travelled career and most recently too charge of Dnipro. Would in no way be a long-term appointment.

Reaction

Former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports News: "Part of me is shocked and part of me isn't shocked.

"You'd think his track record would buy him a bit of time, but I think on the other side of the coin you look at what's happened at Chelsea this year and there has to be something fundamentally wrong.

"There are more than two or three people not pulling their weight, for whatever reason.

"I think he's lost his dressing room and some of the major players in the dressing room have given up on him. If you fall out with two or three of the main men in the dressing room, that would quickly become all of the dressing room.

Read more: Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea - how Twitter reacted

"If you look at the quality of players Chelsea have right now, where they are in the league is ridiculous - they should not be down there."

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce said in his press conference ahead of Saturday's game at Chelsea: "I'm sad to see Jose go.

"I've got to know him quite well. He's a great manager with great character and he is a loss to the Barclays Premier League.

"Only time will tell if there's a better performance or reaction from the players. It'd be a pretty bad indictment on the players if they actually go and perform a lot better than they have done recently just because Jose has lost his job.

"At the end of the day, because of the underachievement that's happened at Chelsea, even a great man and a great manager like Jose has lost his job.

"That shows you we're all in the business of results and if you don't get those results, it doesn't matter how good or popular we are, if we don't get it right we'll lose our position."

How Twitter reacted:

"Putting it out there, next manager for @ChelseaFC go British @GlennHoddle unfinished business and the best tactical coach I worked under! ⚽." - Former Chelsea defender @FrankmSinclair is already looking at who the next man might be.

"Mourinho - Ancelotti- Guardiola (probably) - Löw (after Euro I think) all free-agents in 2016. It's gonna be interesting...In 5 years time Mourinho will be back as Manager at Chelsea," former Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft (@janaagefjortoft) does not think this is the last we will see of the Special One at Stamford Bridge

"I know there's been plenty of rumours but still shocked to hear of Mourinho's sacking. Who is out there that's better! Could be a huge fight looming for Guardiola's services between Chelsea and the Manchester clubs." - Former England striker Michael Owen (@themichaelowen) was surprised.

"José sacked....hmm." Celebrity Chelsea fan and TV presenter Tim Lovejoy (@timlovejoy) is not so sure.

"Jose gone.....pep in next...???" - Former England defender Rio Ferdinand also mentions who might be the next man in at Stamford Bridge.

"The Special One will always be Special and he'll be back of that i'm sure..." - West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady (@karren_brady) expects Mourinho to bounce back

"Eva Carneiro!" - Match of the Day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) pokes fun when asked who Chelsea's next manager will be.

" Mourinho to Man United!!" - Former Arsenal striker turned pundit John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) predicts where Mourinho might end up.

"Jose ... Look at the positives ... 40 Million banked and you won't have to go to Rotherham next year... #Mourinho." - Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan thinks Chelsea are going down.

Timeline of Jose Mourinho's second spell at Chelsea

3 June, 2013: Mourinho make a triumphant return

After a spell at Real Madrid Jose Mourinho is unveiled as Chelsea manager for a second time, signing a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge. In his first press conference he announces that he is now ‘the happy one’.

11 May, 2014: Trophyless first season

Chelsea impress in patches in Mourinho’s first season back in England but finish third in Premier League, four points behind winners Manchester City. Manager sells two-time Chelsea player of the year Juan Mata to Manchester United for £37.1m.

Summer 2014 Key signings:

Diego Costa and ex-Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas arrive at Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois is brought back from Atletico Madrid loan to take Petr Cech’s place as Mourinho re-shapes his Chelsea team. They begin the season impressively with a vibrant 3-1 win at newly-promoted Burnley.

1 March, 2015: First trophy

Chelsea are knocked out of the FA Cup surprisingly by Bradford City in January, but overcome Spurs at Wembley in the League Cup final to secure Mourinho’s first piece of silverware in second spell, and the club’s first trophy since the 2013 Europa League under Rafa Benitez.

3 May 2015: The title

Chelsea win the Premier League with three games to spare with win against Crystal Palace. Mourinho is named manager of the season, his team having lost only four times. Manager signs a new four-year contract in August to keep him at club until 2019.

8 August 2015: Poor start, Carneiro chaos

After a 2-2 draw with Swansea on the opening day Mourinho admonishes doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn for treating Eden Hazard on the pitch as Chelsea hung on for a point in stoppage time. Row rumbles on, even after Carneiro quits club in September.

16 August, 2015: Defeat at title rivals

Chelsea are well beaten by Manchester City in 3-0 away defeat in second game of the Premier League season. Mourinho takes off captain John Terry at half time, the first time he has ever substituted the centre back in 177 games.

29 August, 2015: Home loss to Palace

After an encouraging win at West Brom with new signing Pedro shining, Mourinho succumbs to just his second home league defeat in 100 in charge of Chelsea. Radamel Falcao scores first goal for club to cancel out Crystal Palace opener, but Joel Ward wins it nine minutes from time for the visitors.

29 September, 2015: European failure

The Champions League had provided some respite for Mourinho until the trip to his former club Porto, where Chelsea went down to a 2-1 defeat. Fast-declining Branislav Ivanovic is responsible for Porto’s opening goal. Mourinho concedes that he is going through the worst period of his career.

3 October, 2015: More home woe

Home fans round on Mourinho as his side are brushed aside 3-1 by Southampton at home. In seven minute rant following the game Mourinho claims that referees are “afraid” to award his team penalties, comments for which he will be fined £50,000 by the FA.

5 October, 2015: Dreaded vote of confidence

Chelsea take the unprecedented step of issuing a public vote of confidence in their manager, something that has never happened before during Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club. Short statement on official Chelsea website says Mourinho still has club’s “full support”.

24 October, 2015: West Hammered

Horrible start to season reaches new low at Upton Park, where Chelsea lose 2-1, Nemanja Matic is sent off, Mourinho is sent to the stands and then papped by Eastenders actor Danny Dyer. Manager refuses to speak to the press afterwards as his future hangs in the balance.

27 October, 2015: League Cup pain

An improved performance in the League Cup fourth round at Stoke does not yield any better results, as Chelsea are sent crashing 5-4 on penalties. Eden Hazard misses the decisive spot-kick.

31 October 2015: Must-win... lost

Chelsea take an early lead in crucial match against Liverpool, but are pegged back in extended first half injury time by Philippe Coutinho. Brazilian adds a second to put Liverpool ahead at Stamford Bridge, and Christian Benteke adds a third to pile further pressure on Mourinho.

7 November, 2015: Stoke! Again!

Mourinho is banished to a hotel room as he serves a one-match stadium ban. He watches (on TV) an improved performance by his team, but once again they fall behind and once again they can't salvage anything from the game.

5 December, 2015: Cherries surprising

Champions lose their fourth league game of the season at Stamford Bridge to Eddie Howe's Bournemouth. Substitute Glenn Murray was on the pitch for just one minute 39 seconds before netting 82nd-minute winner.

14 December, 2015: No let-up at leaders Leicester

Leicester withstand a late Chelsea fightback to go 20 points clear of the champions at the top of the league. Chelsea, averaging less than one point per game, are a point above the relegation zone. Mourinho says he feels his players have "betrayed" his work.

17 December, 2015: Bye, bye Jose

Jose Mourinho's second stint at Stamford Bridge ends after he is sacked by Chelsea.

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