Avram Grant put forward a strong defence of his Chelsea tenure last night as he was left to wait to hear whether he had a future at the club.
Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich, who will ultimately decide whether to persist with Grant, is understood to like the Israeli, but remains unsure whether he is the person best-equipped to lead the club.
Abramovich visited the dressing room in the immediate aftermath of defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League final, and he, along with the club’s hierarchy, is known to regard the season as a failure.
Amid the uncertainty, Grant said that he “would like to be Chelsea manager next season, why not?” but the possibility also exists that after just eight months in charge he might choose to walk away on his own terms.
“I’m very proud of many things,” said Grant. “In the first press conference, I said I wanted to improve our game, to be interesting and in the final of the Champions League. I think everybody thought I was completely mad or crazy but we’ve done it. It’s good for a first year.
“Sir Alex Ferguson has only been in the [Champions League] final on two occasions so I have a future. People thought Chelsea were on the way down but the players have shown they can develop and play better football. I cannot talk about the future now. I’ve spoken with Peter [Kenyon, the chief executive] and others, and we’re just thinking about the game.”
Kenyon said the club had to “take heart” from reaching the Champions League final for the first time and it was important not to allow the defeat to “rip you apart”.
He added: “Three months ago, we were involved in four competitions and then six weeks ago, we were still in two and on Wednesday night, we got knocked out of the last one. It’s disappointing from that point of view, everyone would share that view, it’s a realistic view but that’s not going to change our direction. We’re going to regroup and come back better next season.”
Kenyon also promised to strengthen the squad in the summer transfer window.
“We will be bringing in a couple of players,” Kenyon said in the Daily Express.
“But we are looking at a very thin market from a quality point of view, and it’s realistic to say we’re only looking at a small number of players.
“We’re looking at players who have the potential to be star names. When you look at what we’ve already got, are they better than that?
“Manchester United set the benchmark for transfer fees last year. I didn’t expect them to go out and spend that much.
“But what this season has proved is that we have a squad of real depth. It’s more about tweaking than a rebuild.