Details have emerged on how efforts to have Jose Mourinho make a stunning return to Chelsea for the third time as manager collapsed. Mourinho is held in high regard at Stamford Bridge, thanks to his illustrious stint with the west Londoners across two spells.
The legendary Portuguese boss won three Premier League titles during the two spells, with two of those coming during his first stint between 2004 and 2007. He went on to win his third when he returned from Real Madrid in 2015 – but it was not enough to help him keep his job at the club.
A Chelsea director reportedly reached out to Jose Mourinho to gauge his interest in taking charge at Stamford Bridge. However, Mourinho is said to have turned down the opportunity to manage the Blues for the third time in his career
The former Manchester United boss is currently in the books of Roma, where he has enjoyed considerable success since he joined them in 2021. Late Alba strike takes Barca to brink of title, Madrid slip up
Jordi Alba struck a late winner for Barcelona in a 1-0 win over 10-man Osasuna on Tuesday to move the Catalans a step closer to their first La Liga title since 2019.
Xavi Hernandez’s side climbed 14 points clear of second place Real Madrid, who lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad. The visitors had debutant Jorge Herrando sent off in the first half for a professional foul on Pedri, as they sat deep and tried to frustrate hosts Barcelona.
Visiting goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez kept the leaders at bay in the second half but eventually substitute Alba, who has had reduced minutes this season, sliced home a volley to snatch a late victory.
“We’re going to wait and see, but it’s a giant step forward,” said Xavi. We suffered too much. We missed some very clear chances, the kind where you can just push it in. And then came Jordi’s goal, which sometimes makes it better to win like that.”
Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate rotated heavily to rest players ahead of the Copa del Rey final against Madrid on Saturday, while Barca started with the same side which crushed Real Betis at the weekend.
The Catalans failed to carve out many clear opportunities in the first half against their defensive opponents. The best chance fell to Pedri after left-back Alejandro Balde found him a few yards out from goal but he did not connect with the ball well, scuffing a shot wide.
Osasuna were reduced to 10 men before the half hour mark when Herrando pulled down Pedri as he ran in on goal. Xavi brought on Ansu Fati after 35 minutes for Gavi, who appeared to take a knock, and the forward came close at the start of the second half but Fernandez denied him.
Frenkie de Jong should have sent Barcelona ahead but fired straight at the goalkeeper from six yards out when Pedri found him. Barcelona’s frustration grew when Fernandez saved from Fati again and substitute Ousmane Dembele sent a shot wide from close range.
La Liga’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski had another quiet night at the office. When the Polish forward did find the net it was ruled out for offside.
Eventually the breakthrough came with five minutes to go, with substitute Alba volleying home his second goal of the season after De Jong headed the ball into his path, sparking vigorous celebrations.
If Barcelona earn two more points from their last five games, they will be champions.