Hiddink dismisses link to job at Chelsea

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Guus Hiddink has emphatically ruled out any chance of becoming the next Chelsea manager – but believes fellow Dutchman Frank Rijkaard could be a good choice to succeed Avram Grant.

Hiddink told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek that he remains committed to Russia until the 2010 World Cup. "Everyone is speculating because it is not signed officially but there is an agreement between the president of the Russian Federation and me to continue," he said. "The only contact I have had with Chelsea has been with [Roman] Abramovich about the development of Russian football."

Hiddink said he has sympathy for Grant and accused Chelsea of placing too much emphasis on winning trophies. If they did not put so much pressure to get two or three cups every year, I would imagine they would start to play even better," he said.

The Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, Blackburn's Mark Hughes and Frank Rijkaard are also in the running to replace Grant. On Rijkaard, the former Barcelona coach who was his assistant at the 1998 World Cup in France when with Holland, Hiddink said: "He could fit very well in this philosophy. He is a very open person to the people he is working closely with."

On Ancelotti, the Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso said: "The coach has said that he will stay here for the last two months now. Now I will back him and I am 99 per cent sure he will stay here."

Elsewhere, the Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson, has not travelled to Mexico this weekend, according to his agent.

Local media had suggested the Swede would be in Torreon to watch the second leg of the Mexican league's closing final between Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul today. However, Eriksson's representative in Mexico, Juan Carlos Padilla, confirmed the coach has not made the trip.

"He is not coming this weekend. He will not attend the final like some reporters speculated and he will not even attend the [committee] meeting," Padilla told the Esto newspaper.

The Mexican Football Federation's committee of national teams is reportedly set to meet today to decide whether to appoint Eriksson as successor to the sacked Hugo Sanchez and interim coach Jesus Ramirez.

The last European coach to try his luck with a Latin American national side was Italy's Cesare Maldini, who was appointed to lead Paraguay at the 2002 World Cup but lasted only six unhappy months.

Comments