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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 15:55 UK

Chelsea admit Hiddink will leave

Guus Hiddink
Hiddink has revitalised Chelsea since taking charge in February

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has ruled out the possibility of interim coach Guus Hiddink remaining with the club beyond the end of the season.

At a club question and answer session, Buck told fans: "There has been a lot of speculation about him staying. That will not be the case."

Buck also ruled out the possibility of Jose Mourinho returning to manage the club next season.

He said he felt that Mourinho's time with the club "had passed".

Hiddink was appointed as Chelsea coach until the end of the season after Luis Felipe Scolari was sacked in February.

The Dutchman has been combining the role with the job of Russian national coach, a job he has always said he will focus on full time once his stint at Chelsea finishes at the end of May.

It is now up to the board to find a new manager for the long term and that is a process we have started and is ongoing.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck

Buck dismissed speculation Hiddink would remain at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season and said the club have stepped up their search for a new manager.

"There has been a lot of speculation about Hiddink staying, particularly as he has been doing a great job. It is purely a temporary role," Buck said.

"It is now up to the board to find a new manager for the long term and that is a process we have started and is ongoing."

Hiddink has lost only one of the 11 games he has been in charge of the Blues, guiding the team back into the title race and earning them an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal on 18 April.

On Tuesday they face Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, holding a commanding 3-1 lead from the first leg at Anfield.

606: DEBATE

Such success, along with his close relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, has led to much speculation that Hiddink might be convinced to extend his stay at the club.

Mourinho - now Inter Milan boss - left Chelsea in September 2007 having led them to back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 and remains a popular figure amongst Chelsea fans.

Another manager who has been heavily linked with the Chelsea job is AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.

The latest speculation suggested he would be offered a deal that would bring him £1m for every trophy he won with the club, but on Saturday he said "I exclude the possibility" when asked about moving to Stamford Bridge.



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see also
Half-time anger inspires Chelsea
13 Apr 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea confirm Hiddink as coach
11 Feb 09 |  Chelsea


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