Rijkaard interested by Chelsea job

Frank Rijkaard’s agent insists the Dutchman would “consider” the Chelsea manager’s job and would not be scared off by the ruthless reputation of club owner Roman Abramovich.

Frank Rijkaard’s agent insists the Dutchman would “consider” the Chelsea manager’s job and would not be scared off by the ruthless reputation of club owner Roman Abramovich.

Rijkaard has been out of management since leaving Barcelona last summer and is among a list of candidates who have been linked to the Chelsea job following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari yesterday.

His agent Perry Overeem said today if Chelsea did make an approach then Rijkaard would certainly listen.

“(Frank) is obviously a big fan of the game and a big fan of the Premier League so he can be interested in working in the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports News.

“He would consider every serious job offer from one of the major teams in Europe and obviously Chelsea and the Premier League is one of those.”

Four managers have come and gone since Abramovich bought Chelsea in the summer of 2003, but Overeem insisted that would not put Rijkaard off the challenge at Stamford Bridge.

“Well of course (the reputation of Chelsea) doesn’t make it a lot easier and Frank would take some more time to consider the opportunity, but I don’t think Frank will be scared off by those statistics.

“He will just think of himself as maybe the one candidate who can stay there longer than those earlier coaches.”

Reports suggest Chelsea may look to make a short-term appointment until the end of the season before looking to find Scolari’s long-term successor, but Overeem warned Rijkaard would not consider being the stop-gap.

“It all depends on the plans (Chelsea have). It would be a fairly long-term plan, not just for one or one-and-a-half seasons,” he said.

Rijkaard’s fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink has also been linked with the job, and his agent expects his client will speak to Abramovich and listen to what he has to say.

Hiddink has been linked with the Chelsea job in the past and already has a relationship with the Blues’ billionaire owner Abramovich through his role as Russia coach.

However, the Dutchman remains “focused” on the task of leading Russia to the 2010 World Cup according to his representative Cees van Nieuwenhuizen.

“I think because of the personal relationship he has with Mr Abramovich he will definitely talk to him and listen to him but I think Mr Abramovich realises he also has not finished his job (with Russia),” the agent told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.

“I think that Guus and Mr Abramovich know each other well enough – he’s not going to say he is not going to talk to (Abramovich) and he is not going to listen.

“He is focused on his job with Russia, he is with the team on a training camp in Turkey and he is looking forward to qualifying with Russia for the World Cup.”

Late last night, Hiddink confirmed he had not heard from Chelsea.

“Right now I am preparing for dinner with the squad and don’t want to think about where or what people are saying about me or what the bookmakers believe,” he said.

“I’ve heard about Scolari’s departure, but there have been no calls from Chelsea. And as you know, I never comment on rumours – it serves no point or purpose.”

The president of the Russian Football Association, Vitaly Mutko, added: “Guus Hiddink has a valid contract that expires in 2010 and I have no doubt that he will see it through.”

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti and former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini have also been linked with the Chelsea job, while Avram Grant – who also has a good relationship with Abramovich – has been reported as a contender to return as a caretaker manager after being dismissed by the Blues at the end of last season.

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