Owner Roman Abramovich and the rest of Chelsea’s board were continuing to hold talks about Jose Mourinho’s future on Wednesday with the manager’s future in serious doubt, according to reports.
Sources say Chelsea’s officials met for nine hours on Tuesday following the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Monday night and that talks were ongoing.
The board will vote on Mourinho’s future but the final decision will rest with Abramovich. One explanation for the indecision is that Pep Guardiola, the man they would like to replace Mourinho, is currently unavailable.
The Chelsea owner has been keen to retain the two-time Champions League winner who led the London club to Premier League glory last season. However, with results not improving and with the club looking unlikely to make the top four this season – and with it qualification for next season’s Champions League – it is understood his patience is rapidly running out.
One source told ESPN that there was a significant concern that “the squad have seemed to stop listening” to the manager, who said after Monday’s defeat to Leicester that his “work was betrayed” by underperforming players.
Mourinho has acknowledged that there are no guarantees he will be in charge for Saturday’s game at home to Sunderland.
Asked if he was 100 percent sure he would still be Chelsea manager, Mourinho replied: “The only thing I can say is that I want to be.
“I have no doubts and I think you know me well enough, three years this time, plus three years another time, that I am not afraid of a big challenge, and in this moment this is a real big challenge. I want to stay, I hope Mr Abramovich and the board want me to stay.”
The Times has reported that Chelsea are considering appointing former Sevilla and Tottenham boss Juande Ramos as a stop-gap replacement for Mourinho should they decide to sack the Portuguese.
However, the man they are reported to be keen on securing as the permanent successor to Mourinho is Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola. Indeed it is understood that one of the reasons the Portuguese has not yet been sacked is that Abramovich, in a bid to tempt the Spaniard to Stamford Bridge, is keen to counter the suggestion that Chelsea are a sack-happy club.
Guardiola is expected to announce he is leaving Bayern Munich next week, with a move to England regarded as his likely destination. Clearly, such a move will not take place until the end of the season, hence the need for Chelsea to either retain the services of a ‘lame duck’ Mourinho, or appoint a temporary replacement such as Juande Ramos.