Jose Mourinho expects to be hired as Chelsea coach by the end of the week, confirming widespread speculation that he's set to return to the London club.
"I can't speak as Chelsea's coach because I am not it yet," Mourinho told Spanish television program Punto Pelota on Monday. "(but) I will go to London and between Monday and the end of the week I will be the new coach of Chelsea."
Mourinho coached Chelsea from 2004-08. He will replace interim coach Rafa Benitez at the London club.
The 50-year-old Portuguese manager leaves Madrid after three seasons in which he won one Copa del Rey and one Spanish league, but brought home no major titles this season.
Madrid club president Florentino Perez freed Mourinho from the remaining three years on his contract after the team suffered its first loss in 14 years to crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. Madrid had already been eliminated from the semifinals of the Champions League for a third straight campaign under Mourinho, and it never challenged Barcelona for the Spanish league crown.
His final campaign at Madrid was marked by internal strife between Mourinho and his players, including his unpopular benching of captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Mourinho said he is returning to his old club because he was happy there.
"I hope to be Chelsea's new coach," he said. "I would like to be it because I was happy in London and I feel that the people there love me. Life is beautiful and short, and in life you have to seek out what you think is best for you."
Under Mourinho, Chelsea won the English league in 2005 and 2006 and the FA Cup in 2007.
Mourinho also won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and again with Inter Milan in 2010.