London: Chelsea are confident of replacing their sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti with Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who has one year remaining on contract with Turkey.
Hiddink is close to the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich and the billionaire is in hot pursuit of the former Russian national coach to take over as Chelsea's seventh manager in as many seasons.
In fact it was Abramovich, who persuaded Hiddink to take take over as the interim-coach, even when he was the Russia coach, in 2009 and the short spell saw Chelsea winning 34 points from 13 games, an FA Cup and a controversial exit from Europe to Barcelona. Since then, Hiddink, has acted as an adviser to the club on an ad hoc, unpaid basis.
Hiddink has never broken any contract but has indicated that he could leave his post as coach of Turkey if they lose a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier away to Belgium June 3.
The Guardian reported that even if Turkey win the qualifier in Brussels, there remains the possibility they would accept him leaving if compensated by Chelsea. Although Turkey retain hope of reaching the 2012 finals - they could be involved in the play-offs as late as November - there is an undercurrent of frustration that Hiddink's appointment has not had the anticipated impact in terms of results and integration of younger players into the first team.
But Hiddink, whose last three assignments have been with national teams, is reportedly tempted to return to club management on a full-time basis.
"I don't know that you can say that (he would not consider a club job). He is focusing on his job and he likes what he is doing. As long as he is in the race for the European Championship with Turkey, he would continue to focus on that. Once that is finished he will start thinking about his future," his agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen was quoted as saying by the daily.