Former Sevilla, Tottenham and Real Madrid manager Juande Ramos has emerged as a potential replacement at Chelsea for Jose Mourinho, according to reports out of England. The 61-year-old Spaniard, whose most recent job was with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, has been unemployed since the end of Ukraine’s 2013-14 season, but he has surfaced as a surprise short-term option as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich considers Mourinho’s future.
According to The Times, Abramovich is holding emergency meetings on Wednesday to consider the future of his current manager, whose job has become the source of increased speculation in the wake of Chelsea’s 2-1 loss Monday at Leicester City. The defeat left the Premier League’s defending champions one point above the relegation zone, continuing the worst start to a title defense in league history. Per reporting from the AFP, a contract buyout of Mourinho, who signed a four-year extension last season, would cost Chelsea between $15 and $40 million.
Despite that price, as well as the support of a fanbase that’s begun singing to “The Special One” during home matches, Mourinho’s position has become increasingly untenable. After post-match comments on Monday in which Mourinho confessed to feeling “betrayed” by his players, the relationship between the three-time Premier League-winner and his squad is being questioned. In addition, Mourinho’s skepticism over an injury to Eden Hazard, who removed himself during the match at the King Power Stadium, has spurred questions over the man management of Mourinho’s most important talent.
The furor marks the second time this season Mourinho’s job has been the subject of major speculation, with Chelsea’s board having previously issued a vote of confidence amid links to former Blues bosses Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti. Now a new name has emerged, with the veteran Ramos connected with the club for the first time. If he is appointed, it will mark his first job in England since being fired by Tottenham on Oct. 25, 2008.
Who is Juande Ramos?
Ramos’s departure from White Hart Lane came nearly one year after he’d been appointed to replace Martin Jol, with the move reaping immediate rewards when the two-time UEFA Cup winner took Spurs to the 2007-08 League Cup. But over the course of 54 league games, Ramos only produced 21 wins, and when he left Spurs two days short of his one-year anniversary, Tottenham were at the bottom of the Premier League.