Mourinho is set to sign a new contract with Chelsea
The Chelsea manager’s present contract only has two years remaining in the summer but the Barclays Premier League leaders are eager to secure his long-term future by offering him a new four-year package. This makes sense in many ways as Mourinho has indicated his willingness to commit to the club beyond his present deal, although with Chelsea engaged in a busy schedule of three matches per week the negotiations have been placed on hold until the end of the season. All the details of this extension, including the entity of the financial increase on his existing annual salary of £8.5 million will be discussed in the summer.
Chelsea failed to win a trophy last season and, while the club has been delighted with his progress since returning 18 months ago, they want silverware at the end of the season for sure. The Blues secured the extension last week, of their best player Eden Hazard, on a five-and-a-half year contract worth £10 million annually, and view tying down Mourinho as their next big task in order to avoid the instability of the past.
Abramovich’s relationship with Mourinho is much better than during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, when there were frequent power struggles with Frank Arnesen and Avram Grant, the owner’s key aides, as well as complaining about the club’s failure to support him in his various battles with Uefa, the Premier League and the Football Association. The relaxed nature of the contract talks represents another significant point of departure from Mourinho’s reign a decade ago, when he launched a very public campaign for an improved deal towards the end of his first season in charge. In 2004-05, with Chelsea about to win their first championship in 50 years, the club conceded and gave him what he wanted, but some of the wounds caused by the power struggle never healed and played a role in Mourinho’s departure two years later.
This time round, Mourinho has adopted a far more consensual approach and Chelsea are pleased with the manner in which he has accepted and worked within the club’s new management structure. He enjoys a good relationship with Michael Emenalo, the technical director, and has also embraced the enhanced role played by Marina Granovskaia, Abramovich’s former adviser, who has taken responsibility for conducting the majority of football business such as transfers and contract negotiations after the departure of Ron Gourlay, the chief executive, last year.
Mourinho declared himself “settled” for the first time in his career this month, and considering the 52-year-old is the world’s second highest-paid coach after Pep Guardiola, of Bayern Munich, he would not have been short of offers had he decided on changing squads. Just before Tuesday’s clash with PSG, he revealed that two years ago he had turned the Parisian club’s offer down, but the best football predictions would have to suggest that this was more of a destabilising manoeuvre towards his clash rival Lauren Blanc, who is not living the most comfortable time on the French team’s bench, then anything else!