So, the inevitable has finally be confirmed with Chelsea confirming that Jose Mourinho will return for a second spell in charge of the Premier League club. Long before his departure from Real Madrid was revealed, the Portuguese appeared the only candidate to take the reins and seek to replicate and even improve on the success he achieved when he was in charge between 2004 and 2007.
He will inherit a squad with plenty of talent, but also with weaknesses. The most glaring areas of deficiency appear to be midfield and up front and Mourinho will undoubtedly have already set about targeting the players he believes can deliver him more Premier League titles and to lift the European Cup with an unprecedented third different club.
Here are six players that may be on his wish list.
Edinson Cavani (Napoli) With Radamel Falcao headed to Monaco, Chelsea will have to turn their attentions elsewhere in search of a striker. The other forward they have most been linked to is the Napoli star Cavani, who could be available this summer. The Uruguayan finished as top scorer in Serie A with 29 goals this campaign and in his three years with the Italian side has rightly earned a reputation as one of the world’s best front men. As a result, he will not come cheaply. Cavani has a buyout clause of €63 million (£53m) and Napoli rejected a bid of €55 million (£46m) last summer. But Mourinho is said to be a fan of the 26-year-old and the 26-year-old is likely to prove a shrewd investment.
Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen) For several seasons, Chelsea’s recruitment has been directed from over the manager’s head and that is unlikely to change even with a coach of Jose Mourinho’s standing and keenness for absolute power. Indeed, he is likely to shortly be supplied by a new signing, with the club thought to be close to a deal for young German attacker Andre Schurrle after a 12 month pursuit. Mourinho has previously had problems with players thrust upon him by above -- Andriy Shevchenko springs to mind -- yet he is unlikely to have a problem with the presence of Schurrle. Already established at international level, the 21-year-old offers balance with his left foot and can play outside or centrally. The only thing standing in the way of a deal going through is Chelsea youngster Kevin de Bruyne’s reluctance to move in the other direction on loan.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) With Rooney’s future yet to be decided after Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that the forward had asked to leave the club, Chelsea could try their luck with a bid to take the England international to Stamford Bridge. Rooney’s commitment and work rate is such that he would suit a Mourinho team and Chelsea are one of the few teams that could match the 27-year-old’s current wages. With interest also thought to be coming from Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea’s biggest hurdle to a deal may be persuading Manchester United to sell Rooney to one of their Premier League rivals.
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) Mourinho knows all about Poland international Lewandowski after the striker hit a stunning four goals against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal. That performance saw him make headlines across the globe but the 24-year-old has been excelling for some time and has now scored 67 goals in two seasons as a regular for Borussia Dortmund. There is now a strong case to be made that he is the most complete No. 9 in the world. As well as being a prolific scorer, his strength, first touch and general technical ability make him an incredibly effective leader of the line -- which would be invaluable in Mourinho’s counter-attacking setup.
Daniele De Rossi (Roma) With Rafael Benitez forced to cope with a relentless schedule in the second half of the season, the area of the side he struggled to rotate most was in central midfield. Even with the return of Oriol Romeu from injury, Chelsea clearly lack depth as well as quality in this crucial area. Mourinho likes to have a robust player in the center of the pitch and, with John Mikel Obi not having developed as many expected since Mourinho’s previous spell, the coach is likely to have to get it elsewhere. De Rossi has been one of Europe’s finest midfielders for several seasons and Chelsea are thought to be keen to pries him away from Roma. A one club man, De Rossi rejected a move to Manchester City last summer, but the time could now be right for the 29-year-old to try a new challenge after a disappointing season in which he was dropped after a dispute with previous manager Zdenek Zeman.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid) It is common that upon taking a new job a manager first looks to the club he has just left for new signings. But that is unlikely to be the case with Mourinho. If reports and indeed observations are to be believed, few Real Madrid players were still on speaking terms with Mourinho by the end of his time at the Bernabeu. One of the individuals that Mourinho is thought to have kept on good terms with is Luka Modric. The Croatian playmaker was signed by the new Chelsea boss just last summer and after a difficult season in Spain could be tempted to return to the Premier League, where he enjoyed great success with Tottenham.