Although specifying that there were no formal talks, Dutchman Gus Hiddink has stated that there “was some interest” in replacing boss Mark Hughes.
It’s been confirmed that Roberto Mancini got the job at City while Hiddink was confirmed as Turkey’s new manager, which will begin officially in June.
It was at this point that Hiddink stated that he needed to make a judgement call regarding the offer from Turkey. It was noted that when City demonstrated interest in Hiddink he was, at the time focusing on two roles as Chelsea boss and the Russia coach.
Hiddink added that the situation was possible since it was from February till season’s end with Chelsea with no programme (with the exception of one game) with the national team.Taking over at Eastland, however, presented a major problem, since his contract with Russia included another 18 months. However, the contract expires next month which will free him to start his new role with Turkey. But Hiddink has admitted being conflicted over taking a position with a national team or opting to return to City’s more lucrative Premier League.
Hiddink is quoted as saying “It’s a big club, a club with history and also a club with money, of course”.
Ultimately, the decision was further made difficult because of Hiddink’s club experiences which included an enjoyable tenure with Chelsea. This only added to the dilemma of his decision.
In February of 2009, Hiddink replaced Brazillian Luiz Felipe Scolari (who had been sacked) and then went on to save their season with a 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Everton during the last game that Hiddink was in charge.
Having also been a former manager of Holland, Australia and South Korea, Hiddink has expressed belief in current Chelsea coach Carol Ancelotti’s ability to prevail where he, himself, fell short and will proceed to lead his Double-chasing table-toppers all the way to the Premier League trophy, this season.
“Yes, I think Chelsea will win the title, especially with Manchester United dropping points. When you see Chelsea playing against Villa, it shows there’s a lot of confidence in this team”, Hiddink says.
Watch: Man City v Man Utd, 12:45 on April 17th.