Former striker Mateja Kezman claimed Guus Hiddink will take over as interim Chelsea manager for the second time following Jose Mourinho’s departure.
Chelsea parted with Mourinho by mutual consent on Thursday after the embattled Premier League champions slumped to nine defeats in 16 matches this season.
Hiddink, who previously managed Chelsea to FA Cup glory in 2009, has been linked with a short-term switch to Stamford Bridge and Kezman said the Dutchman is set to return.
“I don’t know if it’s confirmed, if the club has announced it, but Guus told me earlier,” Kezman, who played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2005, is quoted as telling Croatian tabloid Index.
“He is a top coach who knows what to do every time. He knows when to tighten the belt, but also when to loosen. He is a good coach and even better psychologist.
“I’m convinced that with him Chelsea will recover and rise in the table, and I’d also say they are one of the favourites for the Champions League.”
Kezman added he is “not surprised” Mourinho left Chelsea, who are just a point above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“Jose is a top coach, but the results and table position are catastrophic and unbecoming for a club with Chelsea’s reputation,” said Kezman.
“It’s incredible that a team that were champions last year are now fighting for survival.
“That’s why I think Roman’s decision is right and Guus Hiddink is a great choice.”