Thursday, 20th February, 2014
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is keen to take veteran Inter midfielder Javier Zanetti to Stamford Bridge this coming summer in a dual player-coach role.
The Portuguese tactician has great respect for Zanetti, having worked with him at the Nerazzurri, and is ready to take advantage of the Argentine's contract at the San Siro coming to an end.
According to reports in Italy, Mourinho is eyeing putting a one-year playing contract in front of Zanetti, with a coaching role built in. The plan is for the 40-year-old to then transition fully into the Chelsea coaching set-up when he hangs up his boots.
Zanetti has been at Inter since 1995 and will not be keen to easily walk away from the Italian giants. However, Mourinho's proposal may be a tempting one, especially coming from a manager for whom he has the utmost respect.
The 40-year-old, who will be 41 before the 2014/15 campaign starts, has also never played outside either his native Argentina or Italy, and a final foray in England may be another temptation.
Mourinho meanwhile is keen to draw on Zanetti's deep knowledge of the game, with the midfielder also having amassed 145 caps for Argentina between 1994 and 2011.
In Serie A, Zanetti has made over 600 appearances, winning the league on five occasions.
His one Champions League success came under Mourinho's stewardship, in 2010, as part of an unprecedented treble haul.