Monday Kickoff: Mourinho happy to return to Chelsea; Dortmund rule out Lewandowski Bayern move; and more

MourinhoChelsea2013 (ChelseaFC)

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in six years, Jose Mourinho met with the assembled media as manager of Chelsea Football Club.

The former Real Madrid, Inter, and Porto boss admitted that he was happy to be returning to the club, and signed a four-year contract with the club, potentially keeping Mourinho around Stamford Bridge through 2018.

“I am a very happy person,” Mourinho said in his press conference. “It’s the first time I arrived in a club where I already love the club. I am more than happy to be back, very calm and very relaxed.”

Mourinho answered numerous questions during the hour long press conference, including clearing up issues such as his controversial exit at Chelsea in 2007 and how he decided he wanted to return to London this summer.

“I keep hearing I was sacked [in 2007]. That was not true,” Mourinho said. “It was a mutual agreement at that time.

“I decided I was going to leave my previous club, that was the trigger. After that, it was a question of analyzing possibilities and making the best decision for my happiness. When Chelsea came, the decision was made.

Here are some more stories to get your week kicked off:

DORTMUND PUT KABOSH ON LEWANDOWSKI BAYERN MOVE

Borussia Dortmund don’t know yet whether star forward Robert Lewandowski will be with the team next season, but they know at least one thing. He won’t be going to Bayern Munich.

The club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke made clear statements on Sunday that Bayern Munich had passed their deadline to sign Lewandowski and he now has no shot at moving to the German triple winners, according to reports in Germany.

“Robert Lewandowski will definitely not transfer to Bayern Munich in 2013,” Watzke told German publication Bild. “This is final. We have informed Robert and his advisers. The Bayern case is closed because there was no written offer.”

Lewandowski’s representatives had dropped hints in the past weeks about a move south from Dortmund and that they already had an agreement with a club, but Watzke’s comments have likely put an end to any movement to Bavaria this summer.

The Poland international was one of the best strikers in the world this season, helping guide Dortmund to the Champions League final thanks to 36 goals in all competitions, including ten in Europe and 24 in the Bundesliga.

VILLARREAL RETURNS TO LA LIGA AFTER ONE YEAR

One of the shocks of the 2011-2012 La Liga season was that it ended with Villarreal, who began the season in the Champions League qualification round, relegated, due to poor management and a high number of injuries.

But on Sunday, the Yellow Submarine made their triumphant return to the Primera Division, finishing in second place in the Spain’s second tier after a 1-0 victory over now third-placed Almeria.

Manager Marcelino Garcia Toral took over the side in January, and has helped lead them to a promotion place in the league, helping stabilize the rocking ship that was the club. Since 2009, Villarreal have appointed six managers, including Manolo Preciado, who suffered a heart attack and passed away in his first day on the job last summer.

BRAZIL DEFEATS FRANCE FOR FIRST TIME IN 21 YEARS

In their final warmup match ahead of the Confederations Cup, Brazil took down France, 3-0, in Porto Alegre on Sunday.

All three goals were scored by European-based players in the Brazil squad. Chelsea starlet Oscar scored the first in the 54th minute, followed by a goal from Lazio’s Hernanes in the 85th minute, and a stoppage-time penalty kick by Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas to close out the match.

Brazil begins their Confederations Cup campaign on June 15 against Japan in Brasilia. The match will be the Selecao’s first competitive matches since the Copa America in 2011.

QUICK KICKS

Hungarian international goalkeeper Marton Fulop is currently recovering after doctors removed a tumor in his arm. (REPORT)

John Obi Mikel will be forced to lead a young Nigeria squad at the Confederations Cup as manager Stephen Keshi has picked his 22-man team. (REPORT)

FC Porto have replaced manager Vitor Pereira, who led them to two undefeated league seasons and titles in a row, with Pacos de Ferreira head coach Paulo Fonseca. (REPORT)

England have been knocked out of the European Under-21 Championships after a stunning 3-1 defeat to Norway. (REPORT)

Holland have booked a place in the semi-finals of the Under-21 tournament in Israel with a 5-1 thrashing over Russia. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you think Mourinho can re-discover his old success? Glad to have the Special One back in the Premier League? Where do you see Lewandowski going this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Mourinho happy to return to Chelsea; Dortmund rule out Lewandowski Bayern move; and more

  1. HoboMike says:

    This will only make the neutrals love Dortmund even more. Sticking it to “the man,” even if it means no transfer fee for Lewandowski when he inevitably goes there next year.

    Golf clap for Dortmund.

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      Agreed!
      I like to think of this as Fergie “not selling them a virus.”

      Well done Dortmund!

    • Old School says:

      “The man”, i.e. the same club that loaned money to BVB to avoid financial issues?

      Yea, nothing says good business like “sticking it” to the man, who will get the player next year for free, instead of being given 20-30 million for his service.

      Poor business but then again, maybe Bayern will be there to loan them money again for this type of business.

      • Old School says:

        Mixing pride and business is never good business.

      • Jerrod says:

        Another deep CL run brings in a lot of money too. Maybe they’re afraid they can’t adequately replace him this summer.

        • Old School says:

          I definitely understand that logic.

          However, this isn’t a computer simulation. The player is now unsettled, generally unhappy and knows he’ll get his wish after a year anyhow.

          It’s EXTREMELY optimistic (and perhaps unrealistic) to expect this to turn out well for BVB or believe this will equate to a repeat of success.

          It’s the nature of the business. Keeping a potentially toxic situation in your locker room benefits no one.

          • Paul says:

            On the other hand, the upcoming year will be beyond any doubt a contract year for Lewandowski. If his form dips, so will his prospects and his future salary. There is no guarantee that Bayern will want to sign him again next summer (though the probability is still likely pretty high), and even if they do, by then they may very well have purchased other strikers who are talented enough to keep Lewandowski on the bench. A lot can change in a year.

      • biff says:

        Sorry, but Dortmund is wearing the white hat in this saga and FC Bayern the black hat. Bayern has not yet made a written offer for Lewandoski, but has let this saga drag on and on with leaked stories to the press before a couple of Champions League games, including the final, to stir things up on the Dortmund team before big games. We even had Jupp Heynckes saying after the Final that Lewandoski would soon be wearing a Bayer shirt, but still no offer two weeks later. How can Dortmund be giving up 25 million when no offer is made? It appears that Bayern might have been trying to wear down Dortmund and then in July make an offer way, way under 25 million. Or a story in the German press today speculating that Bayern was doing it all only to unsettle Dortmund (see link below). Bayern no doubt was enjoying the disruption this has caused Dortmund and finally the Dortmund chiefs have said: Enough. Past deadline. Lewandoski has a contract with us until 2014 and we say we he can go anywhere but FC Bayern.

        Dortmund is not saying Lewandoski can’t leave, only that they will not let him go to FC Bayern. Dortmund will let him go to any other team in the world for a transfer fee that reflects the market value of one of the top strikers in the world. We shall now see whether Lewandoski goes free to Bayern next summer or ends up this summer at a little team like Real Madrid or Man U or Chelsea.

        link to welt.de

        • Old School says:

          “How can Dortmund be giving up 25 million when no offer is made?”

          With no one being in their actual offices of either club, to say we know the true nature of what has or has not been discussed or even negotiated is a stretch.

          There’s only so much information in the media and so much disinformation that accompanies it.

          Let’s remove Bayern from the equation entirely. Even the sheer suggestion of saying Lewandowski isn’t going anywhere is a gamble for everyone involved.

          I get the “in a perfect world” vantage point that keeping his services would benefit the club with revenue/placement in the CL.

          …but let’s be real. They’d be fools to let him play out his contract considering the transfer fees he could get. Whether or not those have came in isn’t accurately known by ANYONE outside of the BVB offices.

  2. SanFran415 says:

    Dortmund Smash!

  3. RK says:

    Happy for Villarreal; they were relegated last season when the 16th-placed team scored a goal in injury time in the last match.

    • Josh says:

      It’s been a rough year trying to follow the Yellow Submarine. Can’t wait to see them back in the top league again, even if it is without Rossi and Nilmar

  4. Al17 says:

    Come on people we’ve seen this too many times recently, BVB and Lewandowski not going to Bayern Munich means nothing til Transfer season closes. Both teams are smart and definitely know what they’re doing.

    • Old School says:

      I would agree with one portion of that assessment: Getting a player for free is “smart”.