José Mourinho has agreed a deal to return to manage Chelsea after dining with club owner Roman Abramovich in London, according to reports.
The Real Madrid coach, who effectively confirmed his wish to go back to Stamford Bridge after the Spanish champions' Champions League semi-final loss to Borussia Dortmund, apparently dined with Abramovich at La Famiglia, a plush restaurant in the Chelsea district.
And the news has seenMourinho make the Sun's front page splash, having apparently negotiated a contract worth £10 million a year.
The story is penned by Rob Beasley, renowned as one of Mourinho's pet journalists, who is an unabashed Chelsea fan. Beasley was granted access to Madrid ahead of their Champions League round-of-16 first lef tie with Manchester United in February, when he interviewed Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Wesley Sneijder, one of Mourinho's playing disciples from the duo's treble season success at Internazionale, said this week he believed his former coach's love affair with Chelsea was still strong.
He said: “In José’s heart it goes his wife, his kids, then Chelsea.
“He has never made any secret about wanting to coach in England again — and when you hear him talk about Chelsea I don’t think he could coach any other team there.
“It sounds crazy, but when he talks about the Premier League and Chelsea, it’s like a kid who is telling his parents what he wants for Christmas.”
Mourinho is set to take over the reins from reviled interim coach Rafael Benítez, who guided Chelsea to the Europa League final on Thursday night after a 3-1 defeat of Basel.
Chelsea entered this season with the possibility of winning seven trophies, but their failure to do so - and group stage elimination from the Champions League has - offered them only the chance of claiming the consolation prize of the Europa League.
They will face Benfica in the Amsterdam final on 15 May.
Mourinho, appointed to much fanfare in 2004, immediately guided Chelsea to their first championship win in 50 years. In his three seasons with the Blues, he won two Barclays Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup.
His failure to win the Champions League with the club (Liverpool defeated them in two separate semi-finals in 2005 and 2007) suggests he has unfinished business at the Bridge, despite Roberto di Matteo ending the club's frustrations with the 2012 win in Munich.