Draw of reunions in Champions League

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The Independent Online

David Beckham is in line to make a return to Old Trafford after Manchester United were drawn with AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League today.

The England midfielder, who won the Champions League with United in 1999 before joining Real Madrid in 2003, will be on loan at Milan from Los Angeles Galaxy.

Chelsea take on former manager Jose Mourinho after being drawn against Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League today.

Mourinho led Chelsea to consecutive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 before surprisingly leaving early in the 2007/2008 season.

The 46-year-old signed a three-year contract with Inter Milan in 2008 and completed his first season in Italy by winning the Serie A title.

Arsenal will take on Porto with all three English clubs playing the first leg of their ties away from home after winning their groups.

Former Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham expects David Beckham to be welcomed with open arms when he returns to Old Trafford with AC Milan in the Champions League last 16.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were handed a glamour tie with the Italian giants in today's intriguing draw which also saw Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan drawn with his former club Chelsea.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham will join Milan on loan again after Christmas and is therefore likely to feature at Old Trafford.

And Sheringham, a goalscorer in the Red Devils' dramatic 1999 Champions League triumph, told Sky Sports News: "He'll be getting fit for that tie, he will want to play in that and go back to Manchester United, take all the adulation - and turn Manchester United over as well!"

Sheringham firmly believes Beckham will be afforded a hero's reception.

"Without a doubt, he was a top player, an icon, the supporters will love him coming back to say his goodbyes and see him on the pitch."

United's director of communications Phil Townsend welcomed the draw.

"It will be fantastic," he told Sky Sports News. "I think everyone at Old Trafford will be absolutely delighted, it's what the Champions League is all about.

"He (Beckham) will get a fantastic reception, as players coming back usually do at Manchester United. He was a terrific servant for the club and we all hope he will be playing."

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink fancies his old team's chances "big time" despite being paired with Italy's top side.

"It's a perfect tie, you couldn't have asked for any more," he told Sky Sports News.

"I do fancy Chelsea big time, obviously it's a big tie but this competition is about playing against the best. If you want to win this competition you have to be able to beat teams like this.

"Carlo Ancelotti came to Chelsea to bring this trophy, they want to win this competition and it doesn't matter who is in front of them."

As for the return of the 'Special One', Hasselbaink said: "Mourinho is absolutely loved at Chelsea.

"He's going to get an absolutely magnificent reception but Chelsea still have to win."

Arsenal secretary David Miles believes Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be satisfied with a two-legged tie against Porto.

"I think he will be relatively pleased," he said. "We have played Porto three times in four seasons so they are a team we know well."

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay was enthused by the high-profile clash.

"It's fantastic, it was the talk when we arrived here this morning and it's happened," he told Sky Sports News.



"It's fantastic for the fans and for neutrals and it will be quite spectacular, I'm sure.



"I'm sure Jose will get a fantastic reaction from our fans. But at the end of the day he is the opposition and we'll look to go through over the two games."



Asked about Chelsea's plans in the January transfer window, Gourlay said: "We already have a fantastic pool of players and yes, we lose some to the African Nations Cup in January but we have such a strong pool.



"If any players become available that could fit into our squad and it works for Carlo, then we are always interested."



Former Portugal and Inter forward Luis Figo said of his compatriot Mourinho's return to Chelsea: "He must be happy to return to a place he was so successful and spent a very good time.



"On both sides I think it will be a great return for him and I hope at the end we can be much more happy than Chelsea."





Draw for the Champions League first knockout round:

Group stage runners-up first and will play first legs at home.

VfB Stuttgart v Barcelona

Olympiakos Piraeus v Girondins Bordeaux

Inter Milan v Chelsea

Bayern Munich v Fiorentina

CSKA Moscow v Sevilla

Olympique Lyon v Real Madrid

Porto v Arsenal

AC Milan v Manchester United

More to follow...

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