Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, last night gave the biggest hint yet that the club are considering bringing back Jose Mourinho to be their manager next season.
It is believed Mourinho is the first choice to replace interim manager Rafael Benitez, who has already confirmed he will be leaving in the summer.
Mourinho is expected to bring his three-year spell at Real Madrid to an end next month, even if he goes on to lift the Champions League at Wembley having taken the Spanish club to the semi-finals earlier this week. The 50-year-old won five major honours, including two league titles, during his reign at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007.
Significantly, when Buck was asked if anyone had been ruled out and about Mourinho in particular, he said: "I am completely open-minded about it." Pressed further about how far they have got into the process of picking a new coach, he claimed: "We really haven't started that yet.
"We're all thinking about it and have some ideas and certainly Mr Abramovich is thinking about it. At the moment we're concentrating on the end of the season."
Buck's comments came on the eve of the second leg of Chelsea's Europa League quarter-final tie against Rubin Kazan in Moscow. Victor Moses has already played under two coaches since he joined from Wigan for £9m last summer, but is adamant he is not concerned about the uncertainty.
He said: "We've got a good manager here at the moment, who has good experience. It doesn't effect me [not knowing who will be in charge next season] in any way."
Chelsea have a 3-1 lead from the first leg last week and Benitez will make a number of changes with the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday in mind.
Moses is adamant that the Chelsea players are not distracted by thoughts of City and said: "We're focused on this game, the Europa League is a massive match for us. We're just going to put the Manchester City game behind us, that doesn't come until Sunday."
Only 126 Chelsea fans have travelled from the United Kingdom to see the tie, while the crowd could be as small as 10,000 in the Luzhniki Stadium, which can hold over 84,000.