Guus Hiddink: Chelsea appoint interim manager until end of season

Guus Hiddink (left), Didier Drogba (centre) and Roman Abramovich
Guus Hiddink (left), Didier Drogba (centre) and Roman Abramovich celebrate Chelsea's second goal during their Premier League game with Sunderland at Stamford Bridge

Former Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink has been appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

The 69-year-old also managed the Blues on a temporary basis for the final three months of the 2008-09 campaign.

"I am excited to return," said the Dutchman. "Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment.

"However, I am sure we can all turn this season around."

Mourinho was sacked on Thursday with champions Chelsea 16th in the Premier League table, one point above the relegation zone.

Hiddink watched Saturday's visit of Sunderland from the stands, sat next to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and former Blues striker Didier Drogba.

Coaches Steve Holland and Eddie Newton were in charge of the team for the game against the Black Cats.

"It's a fantastic appointment. I'm very happy about it. This club needs an experienced manager at the helm and Guus Hiddink is clearly that," said Holland.

Beyond this season - Guardiola, Simeone, Ancelotti?

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said a "palpable discord between manager and players" had contributed to Mourinho's dismissal, the second time he has been sacked by the club.

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, who is set to reveal on Saturday if he will stay at the German club beyond the end of the season, is among the possible permanent replacements.

Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and out-of-work Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Chelsea for two seasons from June 2009, have also been suggested as potential candidates for the full-time role.

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Why Hiddink?

A statement on the Chelsea website read: "The owner and the board welcome back a coach with a wealth of top-level experience and success, including his previous spell with the club in 2009 when we lifted the FA Cup.

"Mr Abramovich and the board believe that Guus has what it takes to get the best out of our talented squad."

Hiddink won six Dutch league titles and the European Cup in two spells as PSV Eindhoven manager. He has also coached South Korea, Australia and Russia.

He took over at Stamford Bridge in February 2009, replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari, and shared the role with his job as Russia manager.

Since then, he has endured unsuccessful spells as manager of Turkey, Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and the Netherlands.

He stood down as Netherlands boss in June, during a miserable Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

The Dutch failed to reach the finals, finishing fourth in their group behind Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.