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Guus Hiddink: Partner persuaded me to stay at Chelsea


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The Dutch coach will leave Chelsea following next Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Everton – with Carlo Ancelotti expected to be confirmed as his successor – to return to his role in charge of the Russian national team.

“Now I’m going to Russia, starting as soon as possible until the end of their season in November or December,” Hiddink said when asked if he would consider coaching in the Premier League again.

“It’s too far away to think about that,” the 62-year-old added. “I’ve said before that I’m getting grey a bit. You never know. I cannot predict the future. My partner, to be honest, when we came here, she said ‘be careful with the stress. Lots of things can happen in England’. But now she says ‘I don’t want to go’. Men think they dominate the world but, in principle, women do.”

Nevertheless Hiddink – although he has hinted at regrets of his own over his commitments – has to return to Russia to see out the remainder of the World Cup qualification campaign and, he will hope, next summer’s tournament in South Africa.

However it is not inconceivable that he will eventually return to Chelsea, in a capacity of director of football or adviser, although that is unlikely to happen under Ancelotti who will not want such a strong character, and someone who has so quickly endeared himself to the players and supporters, so close.

Hiddink continued to insist that he did not have any say in his successor – such a state of affairs, in truth, is impossible to believe – but added of Ancelotti: “The only thing I can say, and the board and owner will make their decisions, is that whoever will come they will make a good choice.

"Ancelotti has been mentioned a lot. I know him personally and he's a very big, great personality. But it's up to others to say whether he is the new manager or not.”

Milan are promising to issue a statement on Monday to clarify who will be the club’s coach next season. The hope is that qualification for next season’s Champions League will be secured tomorrow, at home to Roma, with Ancelottui already having told confidants that he may well join Paolo Maldini – who is retiring – on the San Siro pitch to say his goodbyes.

Chelsea are hoping to make a formal announcement on who will be their next manager a week later but may be forced into an earlier statement should Ancelott be replaced and reveal that he is, after weeks of expectation, finally taking over at Stamford Bridge.

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