In a clear sign that Roman Abramovich does not want to court unpopularity in his homeland, Guus Hiddink has extended his contract as Russia coach until the summer of 2010.
Despite his desire to employ the 60-year-old Dutchman at Chelsea, the billionaire, who is bankrolling the Russian Football Federation, also recognises that he needs to maintain his status in Moscow.
It means that Hiddink's decision to sign a new two-year deal was wholly expected. He was also keen for the announcement to be made before Russia host England in next week's European Championship qualification match to head off questions about his future.
Hiddink's wages are paid for through Abramovich's contribution to Russian football – the oligarch is also helping to find the finance for a new national stadium as part of a likely 2018 World Cup bid – and the pair have regularly held discussions.
It is believed that Hiddink – along with Frank Arnesen – also recommended Henk ten Cate to Chelsea. The 52-year-old, who left Ajax on Monday, is due to be confirmed as Chelsea's new assistant first team coach later today. In a sign of the importance of his role at the club Ten Cate will be paid £2.1m a year – four times as much as his fellow assistant Steve Clarke, who has agreed to remain at Stamford Bridge.Reuse content