Scolari Confirms Chelsea Appointment

From SkySports:

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will become the new Chelsea manager on 1st July.

Scolari, who is currently masterminding Portugal’s Euro 2008 challenge, has accepted an offer to replace Avram Grant at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have confirmed that the Brazilian World-Cup winning coach will take charge after the European Championship.

“Chelsea Football Club is delighted to confirm that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be the club’s new manager from July 1, 200,” read a club statement.

“Felipe has great qualities. He is one of the world’s top coaches with a record of success at country and club level, he gets the best out of a talented squad of players and his ambitions and expectations match ours.

“He was the outstanding choice.

“Out of respect for his current role as Head Coach of the Portuguese national team, and to ensure minimum disruption to this work, there will be no further comment from Chelsea FC nor from Felipe about his new role until his employment with us commences.”

 

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Scolari Keeping Chelsea Guessing?

 

With the media circus around potential candidates for the manager’s job dying down a little – largely because most of the names they’ve put forward have either denied the stories or got jobs elsewhere – the press seem to be hanging on to one name longer than most – Luiz Felipe Scolari. The latest on our manager’s situation seems to be that our search has come to a close and without any confirmation forthcoming, it’s been concluded it must therefore be the current Portugal coach.

Mind you, it seems the Brazilian world cup winner is doing everything he can to keep the story running. Despite making it clear before Euro 2008 he wouldn’t discuss his future until after the tournament, Scolari has recently suggested that although he won’t announce any decision on his future until his contract expires at the end of the tournament, he would be willing to listen to offers during the finals. Then again, this is the same Scolari who led the FA to believe he’d be the next England manager then turned it down before the 2006 World Cup finals.

When questioned on the Chelsea job, Scolari has said “I’m here as the Portugal coach and will work hard for them to the end of the Euros. What’s going to happen to me after the Euros, if I stay or go, concerns me and I’m not going to talk about it now. If I decide to stay or go, I will make a declaration after. If something happens during the Euros, I’m not going to answer. I started to work for Portugal for Euro 2004 and in 2006 signed again until 2008. I might sign again or I might leave. It’s a situation I’m going to examine, but I’m not going to answer this sort of question or talk about it and I’m going to stay quiet. I’m going to talk to my family and examine the possibilities, then I will decide.”

Although he wouldn’t openly admit to an interest in a move to Chelsea, Scolari hinted he’d be open to the idea, saying “I will see what happens, it would be difficult to leave Portugal if I have to do it, but I am professional and I could live in another country.”

With Scolari being exactly the sort of manager Roman’s after – both in style of football and on the PR front – the Russian must be wetting himself at the prospect of bringing him to Stamford Bridge. But I can’t help thinking Roman shouldn’t be pinning too many hopes on this particular candidate. Because whilst he’s certainly dropped enough hints to stop Chelsea filling the vacancy in the immediate future, just as he did with England, he’s been careful enough not to give anything too concrete.

Another case of Scolari keeping his options open maybe?

Has Boulahrouz Left Chelsea Already?

Khalid Boulahrouz looks like he could be on his way out of Chelsea on a more permanent basis, with Marseille coach Eric Gerets taking a keen interest.

Having missed out on the original 23-man Dutch squad, Boula got the call following an injury to Ryan Babel and made a solid start in Holland’s opening game against world champions Italy. Although not an outstanding performance, the versatile defender certainly put in a strong enough showing to raise the odd eyebrow and Gerets has added his name alongside interested parties such as Newcastle. Gerets says “I have handed a list of reinforcements that I want to the board and Boulahrouz is on it. I don’t know how much Boulahrouz would cost but I would really like to have him.”

Boula, nicknamed ‘Khalid the Cannibal’ for his apparent ability to ‘eat up’ the opposition, joined Chelsea in August 2006 from Hamburger SV for £8.5million. He made a promising start to his Chelsea career with an impressive debut away at Blackburn and high-profile games against Liverpool and better still, Barca, where he had Ronaldinho in his pocket. However, a lengthy spell out with a knee and then shoulder injury, put paid to any potential run in the side and some well dodgy performances saw him finally out of contention altogether. And just in case he couldn’t read the writing on the wall already, a straight red against Arsenal to concede a penalty and the title to United, spelt the end of his time at Chelsea as clear as day. Having played in our final game of the season against Everton, Boula was then loaned out to Sevilla where he’s spent his time catching the eye of a few clubs around Europe.

But,following his performance against Italy, the Chelsea defender feels he has nothing to prove to those who doubt him. The Dutchman says “Things are going very well for me and I don’t think I have anything to prove. Seriously, nothing at all.” And just in case any of us thought he might like to make a return to Stamford Bridge, his next statement seems to suggest otherwise, with him saying “I am not playing here for myself. We are playing together and if you think you have something to prove to a former club it’s very distracting. That’s not the case.”

Looks like he thinks he’s left us already.

Will Carvalho Follow Mourinho Again?

Mourinho’s installation as Inter’s new manager always looked like it could be a bit dodgy for us and his bragging that he could more or less take his pick of our players didn’t help. But whilst Essien put paid to that little theory, Carvalho seems to have given it a bit of credence by suggesting he would “love” to play under his former manager again.

Carvalho has already followed Mourinho from Porto to Chelsea in July 2004 having won the Champions League with them under Mourinho – albeit with the odd backhander here and there – and could well be looking to do the same again this summer having admitted he faces a tough decision at the end of Euro 2008.

Carvalho says “I have heard a few comments (about a move to Inter). It’s a club matter and I am focused on playing for the national team so we will see after. But I would love to be coached by Mourinho again. The majority of the trophies I have won were with Mourinho.”

Carvalho, who signed from Porto for £19.85million in 2004, is clearly unsettled by recent events at Stamford Bridge and goes on to say “At Chelsea, there is a cycle happening so we will see what happens. I have a contract with Chelsea. But you never know – sometimes a challenge is good for a player. I will speak with Peter Kenyon after the tournament.”

And he’s right, he does have a contract – a five year one he signed when Mourinho was still around in May last year. But what are the chances of him honouring that now that TSO has come calling?