Chelsea: Jose Mourinho return hard to resist - Peter Kenyon

Jose Mourinho

Ex-chief executive Peter Kenyon feels Chelsea may find it hard to resist reappointing Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho for a second spell as manager.

The former Blues chief would be "hard-pressed" to find a better replacement for interim boss Rafael Benitez.

"You've one of the best coaches in the world, best owners and one of the best clubs, a hard combination to resist," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"I would need some very strong other candidates to look at."

Kenyon, who helped appoint Mourinho for his first spell at Stamford Bridge in 2004, added: "I think Pep Guardiola would have been a candidate, he is not available. Manuel Pellegrini would definitely be looked at.

"If I was looking at Pellegrini or Jose, Jose would win hands down."

Ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola will take over at Bayern Munich this summer, while Pellegrini, also linked with Chelsea, currently coaches Spanish side Malaga.

Mourinho gave the strongest indication yet that he wants to return to England in general and to Stamford Bridge in particular, after Real's Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

His agent Jorge Mendes has also been reported as telling Italy's Radio Mana Mana there was an "80%" chance the Portuguese would be returning to Chelsea.

Mourinho was whistled at by Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu on Saturday before their 4-3 win against Real Valladolid in La Liga as they showed their support for out-of-favour goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who has been left on the bench by Mourinho.

The 50-year-old, who has won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, claimed two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and twice lifted the League Cup during his three years in charge at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007.

Kenyon, who was chief executive at Chelsea between 2003 and 2009, explained: "We brought Jose in because we had John Terry, Petr Cech, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard but we had no experience of winning anything.

"We were looking for a coach who could reignite and get the best out of a very good bunch of players and start implementing structures that would set Chelsea on a course to being a very key European club.

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I'm loved in England - Mourinho

"He was integral to the ongoing success after he left because of some of the structures were put in with him being very much at the forefront. He has continued to be part of Chelsea and he has a remarkable rapport with the fans.

"We went from not winning the league for 50 years to winning two on the bounce, we broke up Manchester United and Arsenal's dominance. There was a key component of starting to establish Chelsea as a major European force."

Mourinho left Chelsea in acrimonious circumstances in September 2007, after a falling-out with owner Roman Abramovich.

"We are talking about the appointment of one of the best coaches in the world," added Kenyon, who was chief executive at Manchester United before joining Chelsea.

"I think they are both very strong individuals. Before this appointment happens, if it happens, there would be a lot of discussions between the two.

"If you talk to both of them now. Jose is very open about his warmth to the Premier League and I am pretty sure that is a similar feeling from Roman."