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Special One set for U-turn?

sports Updated: May 22, 2013 02:39 IST

AFP
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Jose Mourinho looks set to be welcomed back to Chelsea with open arms, but his reputation has been sullied during his three-year stint at Real Madrid and he will return to Stamford Bridge with several thorny issues to address.

Having been released from his contract by Madrid, the charismatic but controversial Portuguese is now widely expected to return to Chelsea, with some British bookmakers offering odds of 20/1 on that he does so.

Chelsea’s fans have already made their feelings known about the prospect of his return, having chanted his name on several occasions during the end of the season.

His previous stint at the club, between 2004 and 2007, saw Chelsea emerge as the dominant force in English football and even their recent continental successes carried echoes of his impact. The good, the bad and the ugly

Seven different managers will have been and gone by the end of the campaign, but the Europa League winners remain very much a Mourinho team -- dogged, compact, and still bossed by Mourinho loyalists such as Frank Lampard and captain John Terry.

Mourinho left after his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich broke down and, subsequently at Inter Milan, he confirmed his status as one of the great managers of modern times by leading the club to league, cup and Champions League glory.

It is nonetheless a chastened Mourinho who will return to London. He found in Italy that the local media did not lap up his pot-stirring quite as enthusiastically as their English counterparts had, and in Spain things were even worse.