London, June 6: Though Dutch coach Guus Hiddink remains Roman Abramovich’s preferred choice to become Chelsea’s new manager, the latter is reportedly considering other options should he fail to strike a deal with the former.
According to The Telegraph, Hiddink will secure his release from his contract as the coach of the Turkish national team within the next two weeks and succeed Carlo Ancelotti by the last week of June at the latest.
Chelsea have set that time as an unofficial deadline for a new manager – the week before the players return for pre-season training on July 4 – and Hiddink has taken this week as holiday as negotiations continue. t is believed he would prefer to be the head coach or manager rather than take the role of director of football.
Interestingly, Hiddink has been at pains to point out that at 64 he is not too old to coach and has missed the day-to-day involvement of working for a club.
However, Abramovich, who is determined to bring Hiddink back to Chelsea in some capacity, has also now put in train contingency plans should that not happen.
Last week, the Chelsea hierarchy submitted a shortlist of candidates to Abramovich. It was done so in the knowledge that Abramovich remains convinced that Hiddink should take over.
Chelsea is also monitoring what happens to Mark Hughes, who quit as Fulham manager last week after his contract lapsed and who has always enjoyed strong support at the club. There have been no approaches as yet but that could change if Hiddink is not appointed. (ANI)