London – Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck indicated on Monday that the club is preparing to off-load several players over the summer. Speaking at a fans’ forum, he also insisted that temporary manager Guus Hiddink will leave in the summer, and said that there would be no return for former manager Jose Mourinho.
“We are expecting some players to leave this summer,” Buck said. “I don’t know whether it is three, four or five, and several players to come in.
“In the large part we would like to fund acquisitions with sales, that just makes good business, but I think that if the player came along at the right price, and it was a hefty price, and it worked for Chelsea, then (club owner Roman) Abramovich would be willing to invest more money in the club for that transfer – but by and large we’d like to purchase players with funds that have been received by selling players.”
First, though, they will have to appoint a permanent manager.
Hiddink has been in charge since the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari in February, while remaining as manager of Russia.
“Guus came here on a temporary basis two months ago and it is thanks to the Russian FA that he was able to come here; it is purely a temporary role,” Buck said.
“There has been a lot of speculation about him staying, particularly as he has been doing a great job. That will not be the case.
“It is now up to the board to find a new manager for the long term and that is a process that we have started and is ongoing.”
There had been speculation last week that Jose Mourinho, who left the club last season, could return in the summer, but Buck was dismissive of that suggestion.
“Jose was a great coach, he is a great guy but I think his time at Chelsea Football Club has passed,” he said.
“We didn’t fire him; it was mutual that he left the club. The board and Jose were not seeing eye-to-eye on a number of things and it was time we parted company.
“We have great respect, obviously, for what he did for Chelsea, we are on great terms with him.” (dpa)