By Editor Wayne Veysey
Jose Mourinho is one week from the sack, Football Insider sources understand.
Roman Abramovich is ready to dismiss the Portugese next week if he does not turn around the team’s catastrophic start to the season.
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The Chelsea owner will give Mourinho at least two more matches – Wednesday’s Champions League home match against Dynamo Kiev and next Saturday’s Premier League trip to Stoke – but is running out of patience amid fears that a top-four Premier League finish is in doubt
The champions remain rooted in 15th in the table after losing 3-1 to Liverpool yesterday, the club’s six Premier League defeat of the season.
The Londoners released a statement last month to confirm that the Portugese retained their “full support” but recognised “results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve”.
Chelsea subsequently beat Aston Villa 2-0 to give hope that a corner had been turned but have followed up with a goal-less draw at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, Premier League defeats to West Ham and Liverpool and a League Cup elimination at the hands of Stoke.
Sources have said that Abramovich will not fire Mourinho before their next fixture but the manager’s destiny is likely to be shaped by the team’s next two matches.
Should there be little signs of improvements in results or performances, Chelsea are ready to take the nuclear option and axe the most popular manager in the club’s history.
Anything other than a top-four Premier League finish is unthinkable for Abramovich, who regards Champions League football as a minimum requirement every season.
Football Insider revealed on 5 October that Chelsea had discussed Mourinho’s position as the first doubts began to surface among senior officials about whether he can arrest the team’s slide.
Mourinho still has the support of Abramovoich but some of the owner’s advisers are being tested by the team’s continued dire form.
Mourinho is far from secure in his position despite signing a new four-year contract in July and his status with supporters.
He insisted yesterday that he was confident about his position. Asked afterwards if he thought the game was his last as Chelsea boss, Mourinho said: “No, I don’t.”
“I will try to watch some of the rugby [World Cup final] and disconnect a little bit from this. Then I will start preparing the training session for tomorrow morning and the game for Wednesday [against Dynamo Kiev].”