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Hiddink in talks with Chelsea
Russia manager leads the field as Scolari receives a golden handshake.
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2009 20:28 GMT

Hiddink has juggled commitments with club and country before [GALLO/GETTY]
Guus Hiddink is in talks with Chelsea to take over as manager until the end of the season while continuing as Russia coach.

Hiddink said on Tuesday that he was approached by the English Premier League club to coach the team after Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked the day before.

"I have to admit it's a complicated situation involving the Russian national team and Chelsea," the Dutchman said at a Russian training camp at the Mediterranean resort of Belek in Turkey.

Chelsea issued a statement saying they had been granted permission by Russia's FA to speak to Hiddink about becoming their temporary coach.

Hiddink added that he has a special relationship with Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

'Exceptional situation'

"I must say that this is an exceptional situation. If it was any other club aside from Chelsea my answer would be a straight 'No'," he said.

"But Chelsea is different because I have good relations with the (club) owner. So I would like to help them (Chelsea) in this situation if I could."

Asked if this would involve working as a consultant for Chelsea's coaching staff, Hiddink said: "No, this would be a full managerial role, a day-to-day job.

"But this would only be for the next two or three months until the end of the season.

"Of course when Russia would play (World Cup qualifiers) I would go there to coach them during that as there won't be any (league) games during that time.

"I have already done that a couple of years ago when I was coaching Australia and PSV (Eindhoven), so I'm familiar with the situation and what it takes."

Russian commitment

Hiddink also said he was fully committed to helping Russia to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Abramovich and Hiddink have a close relationship [GALLO/GETTY]
"I will not leave my job with the Russian national team. It's out of the question," he said.

"When I took the Russia job it was a long-term project and I don't like to leave it unfinished."

Asked if he knew about Scolari's fate before the news was released on Monday, he said: "Well, you have your contacts and I have mine.

"I did get a phone call from them (Chelsea management) and we discussed the situation but we haven't come to a final decision just yet.

"But the situation can change any day or even any hour."

The Dutchman said before making any decisions he would discuss his future with Russian soccer chief Vitaly Mutko.

"I was planning to fly to Europe from Turkey at the end of the training camp (on Wednesday) but I can change that and I can go directly to Moscow to meet with Mutko," he said.

"In any case, we'll meet in the next few days and will talk about the whole thing."

Rijkaard interest

Earlier in the day Dutchman Frank Rijkaard had appeared as a leading contender.

British newspapers carried stories linking the former Barcelona manager with the vacant post while Rijkaad's agent said his client was keen on taking a Premier League job having been out of work since leaving the Nou Camp last year.

"He is obviously a big fan of the game and a big fan of the Premier League, so he is interested in working in the Premier League," Perry Overeem told Sky Sports News.

"Yes (Rijkaard would be looking for a long-term role). But it depends on all the conditions and the plans.

"It would have to be a long-term plan for him, not just something for one or one-and-a-half seasons.

"He would consider every serious job offer from one of the major soccer leagues in Europe, obviously Chelsea and the Premier is one of those."

With Chelsea still involved in three competitions, they will be anxious to replace Scolari quickly.

They face Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League this month and have a tough away game in the Premier League at third-placed Aston Villa coming up.

Scolari compensated

Meanwhile, the club has announced it has agreed to a compensation deal with manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and his coaching colleagues.

Although no financial details were announced, there were reports that Scolari, who was only seven months into a two-year contract with a one-year extension, would walk away with $10.9 million.

Chelsea said Tuesday agreements were also made with Scolari's assistants, Flavio Teixeira, Darlan Schneider and Carlos Pracidelli, who were also dismissed.

Assistant manager Ray Wilkins remains at the club and will take charge of the team for Saturday's FA Cup game against Watford.

Source:
Agencies
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