Belfast Telegraph

Roman Abramovich must flash cash for Guus Hiddink

Chelsea are to open talks today with the Turkish Football Federation about releasing manager Guus Hiddink from his contract but are understood to be unwilling to meet the £4m compensation the Turks are demanding.

Hiddink, 64, has a year left to run on his £4m-a-year job in Istanbul but is prepared to answer Chelsea's call and take over the vacant manager's job following the sacking of Double-winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Owner Roman Abramovich is keen to bring Hiddink back to the club he led to the FA Cup when he was took temporary charge for three months in 2009.

However, it is a point of principle with Hiddink that he does not break a contract and he is insisting he will not walk out on Turkey, hoping that Chelsea will agree a compensation package with the Turkish Football Federation so he can depart on good terms - but Stamford Bridge outfit are insisting the £4m valuation is too high.

Last week, Hiddink made it clear he favours a return to the day-to-day involvement of club football, saying: "I feel energetic and I like working every day."

Some in Holland however doubt he would be willing to commit 100 per cent to Chelsea, as he enjoys living in an Amsterdam apartment, loves to play golf and would prefer to move to London as director of football.

Chelsea have also discussed the merits of Mark Hughes, who last week invoked a clause in his contract with Fulham allowing him to walk away midway through a two-year deal.

The Welshman, however, is only being considered as a candidate to be the next manager at Chelsea - where he played from 1995 to 1998 - should the deal for Hiddink fall through.

Abramovich is keen for the new manager to be in place by mid June, giving him a couple of weeks to acclimatise before the first team return to training on July 4.

Belfast Telegraph

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