Jose Mourinho has moved a step closer to a return to Chelsea having reached a provisional agreement with owner Roman Abramovich.
The Real Madrid manager hinted earlier this week that his next job would be somewhere he had worked before and that destination looks increasingly likely to be Stamford Bridge.
According to several reports, Abramovich is said to have finally conceded that reappointing Mourinho is the best option available to him, after the self-appointed ‘Special One’s’ acrimonious departure from west London six years ago.
It is thought that the pair have now put their differences aside and an early agreement for the Portuguese to replace Rafael Benitez on a three-year deal has been drawn up.
However, Chelsea fans shouldn’t rejoice just yet with several stipulations drawn into the deal.
Mourinho is apparently insisting on a top four finish for the Blues this season as he is not interested in managing a team who are not in the Champions League.
He is also concerned about the influence of the Blues technical director Michael Emenalo and chief executive Ron Gourlay.
There is also a suggestion that Mourinho has a similar deal in place with Paris St Germain, should the French outfit opt to get rid of Carlo Ancelotti in the summer.
But, despite these obstacles, the signs point heavily to Mourinho being named as the next Chelsea manager.
And speaking to Sky Sports News on Tuesday afternoon the Portuguese did little to dampen the speculation.
He said: ‘Again, I can’t deny in spite of this disgraceful weather I love it here [in London] and I have big emotional connections with Chelsea.
‘One day I think naturally I have to be back to English football – to Chelsea or to another club. Of course Chelsea means for me differently than the other clubs.
‘Chelsea is in my heart as Inter is for example. So one day I have to be back.’