x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Chelsea will have to wait for Hiddink

Guus Hiddink has started negotiations with Chelsea over taking charge of the team until the end of the season and the Dutchman said he will give an answer in the next few days.

Hiddink, right, is good friends with Chelsea's Russian benefactor Roman Abramovich, left, and said he would be happy to help at Stamford Bridge.
Hiddink, right, is good friends with Chelsea's Russian benefactor Roman Abramovich, left, and said he would be happy to help at Stamford Bridge.

Guus Hiddink has confirmed he is in talks with Chelsea over a move that would see the Dutchman take over as caretaker manager until the end of the season. But, the Russia boss maintains it is too early yet to say for certain that a deal will be done. Hiddink admitted that he was contacted by the Premier League club after Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked on Monday. The Dutchman is considering what would be a dual role - combining his responsibilities coaching the Russian national team with managing Chelsea, something he insists he would have rejected if the request had come from any other club. Hiddink, 62, said: "If it was any other club my answer would be a straight 'No'. But Chelsea is different because I have good relations with the owner [Roman Abramovich]. I would like to help them if I could." However, Hiddink stressed he will not be relinquishing his duties with Russia and is fully committed to helping the team qualify for the 2010 World Cup. "I want to say officially that there has been absolutely no talk of me leaving the Russian national team," Hiddink told the Moscow-based Sport Express. "I will stay and continue working with a team I feel very comfortable and at ease with." Asked if he could do both jobs at the same time, Hiddink replied: "You correctly use the word 'if'. I can't rule out that option but it is at the stage of being examined. If everything is organised properly a move to London could happen. "I'll be able to give you a final answer in a few days." West Ham's Gianfranco Zola, MK Dons' Roberto Di Matteo and Carlo Ancelotti at AC Milan have all been linked with taking the Chelsea job at the end of the season, as have the former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkard, and Roberto Mancini, who left Inter Milan last summer. A surprise candidate is Avram Grant, who led Chelsea to the Champions League final last season before being replaced by Scolari.

Grant has also been linked with the Portsmouth job where he was previously director of football. Tony Adams has admitted he was surprised to have been sacked by Pompey. Adams, 42, left the club after winning just two of his 16 Premier League games in charge. He told the BBC: "I am a little bit surprised but results haven't been good. I haven't had a lot of time and I certainly haven't had the financial backing. We've had a few injuries as well and that's tough to take." * With agencies