Arsène Wenger believes that his old adversary José Mourinho would be a "good solution" for Chelsea in the summer as he expressed fear that the Stamford Bridge club are primed to make an expensive and dramatic statement with their transfer business.
Mourinho has emerged as the manager that Chelsea most want to succeed Rafael Benítez, who will depart at the end of the season after his interim spell, and soundings have been taken to gauge the Portuguese's willingness to make what would be an eye-catching return.
Chelsea have also considered the merits of the Málaga coach, Manuel Pellegrini, with the Chilean's representatives understood to have met officials from the London club last week. Pellegrini, who speaks good English, has coached at Madrid and he took Málaga to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season.
Wenger, the Arsenal manager, seems concerned at Chelsea's spending power and the feeling that they are plotting the latest demonstration of it, and not only with regard to the managerial position. Fernando Torres, the striker, said on Wednesday that he would not be surprised if his club were to sign Atlético Madrid's Radamel Falcao, who shares an agent with Mourinho, and a deal for Bayer Leverkusen's £20m-rated forward André Schürrle is at an advanced stage. Chelsea also want an upgrade in central midfield, with Paulinho of Corinthians a target.
"I'm afraid of what Chelsea can do in the summer," Wenger said. "We have to be prepared for them to be one of the biggest movers in terms of investment once the window opens.
"Even though they already have a great base to their squad, notably their young players such as Oscar, Juan Mata, Ramires and Eden Hazard, I think they will be busy during the transfer window. We've heard a lot of talk about Falcao. Some people say it's already a done deal but I've heard nothing."
Mourinho, who managed Chelsea to great success from 2004 to 2007, has indicated that the club would have to be competing in next season's Champions League for him to come back, which has placed the players under more pressure to finish in the Premier League's top four. Mourinho, though, has made little secret of his desire to return to London or that he considers his time at Real Madrid to be drawing to a close. He is expected to leave the Bernabéu in the summer.
Wenger clashed notoriously with Mourinho during the latter's time in England but he suggested that Chelsea would benefit from taking him back, as there is no doubt about his talent.
"I think Chelsea currently have a great coach in Rafa Benítez," Wenger said, "but if they part ways at the end of season, of course José Mourinho would be a good solution for Chelsea. Mourinho is one of the best in the world. I consider Benítez to be doing a good job at Stamford Bridge but, honestly, I'm not really well informed about the possibility of Mourinho returning to Chelsea."
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