Chelsea have confirmed Guus Hiddink as their new manager until the end of the season following the departure of Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho parted company with the Premier League champions on Thursday after they suffered their ninth top-flight defeat of the season at Leicester.
Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Juande Ramos had been linked with the vacant post, but Hiddink arrived in London on Friday to open discussions with Chelsea.
Hiddink was previously appointed at Stamford Bridge in February 2009 following the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari, when he led them to FA Cup glory.
He will be in attendance for the club’s Premier League match at home to Sunderland, although Steve Holland will be in charge for the fixture. Hiddink will oversee the side against Watford on Boxing Day.
The Dutchman said on the club’s official website: “I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. 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.I am looking forward to working with the players and staff at this great club and especially renewing my wonderful relationship with the Chelsea fans.”
The ex-Netherlands coach had expressed reservations about taking over on an interim basis for a second time, telling De Telegraaf: “I want to get some good insight before I make my decision.”
Chelsea have earned just 15 points from their first 16 league games and are in 16th place in the table, a point above the relegation zone.
Former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins, who worked alongside Hiddink, told Sky Sports News before the appointment: In the interim, the best guy for the job would be Guus Hiddink. I don’t see anyone else.
To put him in and have Steve Holland alongside him would be the right choice. His career hasn’t gone well, but he is the best man-manager I’ve ever seen. His English is first class and his mentality is too. He works hard but he loves a good giggle.
He was a success last time firstly because he didn’t have the language barrier, which Chelsea had with Felipe Scolari, who couldn’t quite get his message across. Guus came in to enjoy himself, and enjoy himself he did.
The pressure wasn’t really off him, because when you take over at Chelsea you’ve got to win. But he was extremely successful in that period because everyone worked his socks off for him.”