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Jun 26, 2011

'Hiddink was first choice'

Guus Hiddink was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's first choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge, according to agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen.

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Last week, Chelsea took decisive action over the manager's job, appointing former Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas after meeting the 33-year-old's £13.3 million release clause.

However, Van Nieuwenhuizen claims that Hiddink was approached first, with only his insistence on honouring his contract as Turkey manager preventing him from returning to Chelsea, where he won the FA Cup during a caretaker spell at the club in 2009.

"Every now and then they talk, they [Hiddink and Abramovich] see each other, and Guus would say: 'I have a contract so it's no use considering a position for me at Chelsea.' I think Abramovich has respected that position," Van Nieuwenhuizen said in The Observer.

"When he signed with Turkey he realised he would be in this position in principle through at least to the European Championship, so he's a professional.

"[Inter president] Massimo Moratti also mentioned last week that he wanted Guus Hiddink, and Guus has already been connected in the past a couple of times, related to big clubs, not only Chelsea."

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