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May 5, 2013

Kenyon backs Mourinho return

Former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has urged Chelsea to appoint Jose Mourinho, claiming his return would be a recipe for success.

• Lythell: Chelsea love affair

Interim manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed he will depart in the summer leading to intense speculation that Real Madrid coach Mourinho will return. And Kenyon, who was at Stamford Bridge between 2003 and 2009, believes there is only choice for Chelsea's next permanent manager.

"If I was at another club and looking for someone who would give me the maximum chance of winning, it's Jose Mourinho,'' he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "You've got one of the best clubs, one of the best owners and one of the best coaches - it's a hard combination to resist.

"I'd need some other very strong candidates to look elsewhere and you'd have to say he's very much on the shortlist. Pep Guardiola would have been up there (as a candidate) but he's not available. (Malaga coach) Manuel Pellegrini you would definitely look at.

"But if I was looking at Pellegrini or Jose, Jose would win hands down."

Mourinho's successful first spell at Chelsea ended in September 2007 following a falling-out with Roman Abramovich. Kenyon insists the importance of the pair sitting down and sorting out their differences shouldn't be underestimated.

He said: "They're both very strong individuals and before this appointment happens, if it happens, there will be an awful lot of discussion between those two. It's a very different team now that is at a very different part of its evolution as a major European team, and clarification is needed over players.

"Given the past history that they both know each other, they have both worked with each other, all that does is heighten the need for some of those things to be ironed out before the appointment is made."

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