Shock old boys in frame to replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea

Rafa Benitez Jose Mourinho TEAMtalk

Jose Mourinho is open to returning to Chelsea for a third stint as manager, according to The Sun.

The 56-year-old, who was sacked at Manchester United in December, was in London yesterday for talks with a top commercial agent and is in the running despite a disastrous end to his last spell in charge at Stamford Bridge in 2015.

Mourinho won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and the FA Cup during two spells and five years at Chelsea, but his title defence in 2015 started badly and he was axed after losing nine of their 16 league games and left with the Blues 16th in the table, one point above the relegation places.

The tabloid though claim the Portuguese coach “would seriously consider making a third return to Stamford Bridge” with Chelsea bosses apparently “considering managers with top-flight experience”.

The Premier League giants are stepping up their chase for a  replacement for Maurizio Sarri, who is expected to join Juventus this week.

Sarri admitted last week he fancied a return to Italy and The Guardian reported on Friday night that Sarri had agreed a three-year deal in Turin.

Chelsea bosses are working behind the scenes on Sarri’s successor and the report claims the target will be a top-four finish from their new boss – even with the loss of Eden Hazard and a two-window transfer ban.

Italian publication Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) claims that a meeting is “imminent” between Chelsea and a another former Blues boss Rafa Benitez.

The Newcastle boss is under contract at St James’ Park until the end of the month, but there have been no sign of a breakthrough in contract talks with the Magpies.

Derby boss Frank Lampard remains the favourite with the bookies to take over, while Max Allegri, Erik ten Hag, Nuno Espirito Santo and Javi Gracia have all been mentioned.