Mourinho flies in to take charge as Chelsea prepare for new era

Jose Mourinho is due to arrive in London this morning to finalise his appointment as Chelsea's new coach. He will hold meetings with Roman Abramovich and the club's chief executive, Peter Kenyon, who were both in Milan yesterday where they had been expected to tell Claudio Ranieri that he had finally been sacked.

However, the Italian left the two-hour meeting, which was also attended by his agent Vincenzo Morabito, slightly bemused that his four-year tenure had not come to an end. "It was a very pleasant conversation," said one source, who added that Ranieri was merely consulted on transfer targets.

"But Claudio knows it's a fait accompli. It appears Chelsea are keeping him in place until they have finished arguing the terms [with Mourinho]."

Ranieri has no intention of forcing the issue, however, despite offers from other clubs because he does not want to jeopardise a £6m pay-off for the remaining three years of his contract. Ranieri wants to remain in England, preferably in London. As yet he has not held talks with the most likely candidates, Tottenham Hotspur.

Mourinho, meanwhile, finally confirmed publicly that he intends to join Chelsea. Fresh from his convincing triumph in the Champions' League final, the Porto coach told the Portuguese channel Sport TV: "I have several invitations in the bag, but there is one which I would very much like to accept, which is from Chelsea. I need to speak with the board of directors, and we will see."

Mourinho, according to sources, signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea two weeks ago. The deal, worth up to a staggering £16m over four years, was brokered by "super-agent" Pini Zahavi. "My future will be decided upon in the next few days," Mourinho, 41, insisted. "I have a contract that ties me to FC Porto and to no other club. There will be conversations over the next few days with FC Porto's full knowledge."

Reinaldo Teles, Porto's director of football, confirmed Mourinho's exit. "We will have a new coach, a big team and will continue to work towards winning more titles," he said yesterday.

Kenyon attended the final in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday evening and afterwards indicated that an announcement was imminent. "I think we've got to get things resolved next week and start planning for next season," he said. "This isn't a holiday period for us, this is about preparing for next season." Officially Chelsea simply said "watch this space".

Kenyon went on to pay tribute to Mourinho and Monaco's coach, Didier Deschamps, saying: "I think what you've got in this game are probably the two best young coaches in Europe. These guys are going to continue their careers, they've done tremendously well to get here as we know first-hand from one of them." Monaco, of course, knocked Chelsea out of the competition and Deschamps is due to join Juventus.

Mourinho's achievements at Porto are extraordinary. In the past two years he has won two league titles, the Portuguese Cup, the Uefa Cup and now the Champions' League ­ even if Ranieri, for one, has previously belittled the competition he has faced domestically.

Mourinho is unlikely to arrive on his own at Chelsea. He has insisted that his backroom staff are also poached ­ including his assistant, Baltemar Brito, the goalkeeping coach, Silvino Louro, and the fitness coach, Rui Faria.

In addition, he is urging Abramovich to strip the Porto team and appears to have won guarantees. In particular he wants the playmaker Deco, right-back Paulo Ferreira and the midfielder Costinha. There has even been talk of taking a fourth Porto player, the central defender Ricardo Carvalho. The acquisitions would cost at least £50m and raise huge question marks over the future of Chelsea players such as Joe Cole and Glen Johnson.

Cole yesterday said that he knew there would be a change of manager but that he intended to fight for his place. "I really want to make it work," he said. A further clear-out of players is already underway.

It had been thought that Abramovich was unimpressed by Mourinho when the two met after Monaco had beaten Chelsea last month. The Russian found the coach overconfident and Mourinho has since insisted that he will do things his way. It could make for a fiery, if lucrative, relationship.

Mourinho's appointment caps a remarkable ascent for someone who did not play football professionally and whose passage into the game started when he was employed as Sir Bobby Robson's translator when the former England manager was appointed coach at Sporting Lisbon more than a decade ago.

Abramovich and Kenyon also held talks yesterday with executives at AC Milan. Chelsea had expressed an interest in the striker Andriy Shevchenko but their hopes were dashed when he signed a new contract on Wednesday. Kenyon denied further transfers were discussed. "It has been a general meeting and we have not spoken about any player," he said.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable