Chelsea's Talks With Real Madrid Coach José Mourinho Hit Snag Over $26M Buyout
Chelsea’s negotiations to secure the return of coach José Mourinho "have reached an impasse over their refusal to pay the buyout clause in their former manager’s contract at Real Madrid," according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. There "are also concerns at Stamford Bridge over the potential composition of Mourinho’s backroom staff." Mourinho’s advisers are demanding that Chelsea "pay compensation to Real in order to secure his departure from the Bernabéu and a rapid reunion," but Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich "is refusing to sanction any such deal." The official buyout clause in the three-year contract extension Mourinho signed at Real last summer is believed to be €20M ($26M), although that "applies only in the event of him leaving during the season." There are "no fixed terms dictating the nature of any post-season departure, which will be left to negotiation, and Mourinho’s representatives have been told by Chelsea that they must sort out the manner of his exit." Mourinho "is still regarded internally as Abramovich’s favoured candidate" to succeed Chelsea interim Manager Rafael Benítez. There are further issues to be resolved before a deal can be completed, such as "the degree of control Mourinho would be granted over transfers and contracts, his wage demands, and requests to sign certain players, all of which will require skilful negotiation, given his history at the club" (LONDON TIMES, 5/8).