Guus Hiddink is to be handed the task of rescuing Chelsea’s disastrous season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho, who signed a new £10m-a-year four-year contract in August after leading Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, was informed of his sack at lunchtime in a 10-minute meeting with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy at the club’s Cobham training ground.
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Hiddink, who led Chelsea to FA Cup success during a successful three-month spell as interim manager in 2009, will be asked to stabilise the club and guide the team through to the end of the season. His first game will be Saturday’s home match against fellow Premier League strugglers, Sunderland.
Chelsea will seek a permanent appointment at the end of the season, with Italy coach Antonio Conte the favoured candidate ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone.
Hiddink, 69, has been out of work since being sacked by the Netherlands national side in June following five defeats in 10 games which had left the Dutch on course to miss out on Euro 2016.
The former PSV Eindhoven and Valencia coach is regarded by Abramovich as having the experience to resurrect Chelsea’s season and motivate a group of players who have proved so disappointing under Mourinho.