Roman Abramovich will have to pay as much as £12million to bring Jose Mourinho back to Chelsea.
The Real Madrid coach inserted a break clause in the four-year contract he signed at the Bernabeu last summer after he won La Liga.
Mourinho’s contract runs until 2016, but Chelsea may have to pay Madrid up to a year of that to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho claimed he will be leaving the Spanish club after they were beaten in the Champions League semi-final for the third successive year.
He had a gentleman’s agreement with Madrid president Florentino Perez that he could walk away from his contract without financial compensation if they went on to win their 10th European Cup.
Instead Chelsea will have to negotiate Mourinho’s release from the world’s biggest football club if Abramovich decides to appoint him.
Chelsea, who were turned down by Mourinho when they made an approach last summer, have the Portuguese coach in their sights, even though Abramovich paid £18m to get rid of him and his staff in 2007.
Mourinho made an emotional appeal to Chelsea to rescue him from Spanish football after his side lost their Champions League semi-final with Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on aggregate.
The Madrid coach claimed that he is ‘loved’ in this country and added that at least one club in England – presumably Chelsea – were still in thrall with him.
Mourinho’s potential return to Stamford Bridge has been complicated by the £18m compensation package Abramovich paid in 2007.
The relationship between the pair has improved in the intervening years and Chelsea’s billionaire owner is under pressure to appease supporters by appointing Mourinho as manager.
The Portuguese coach won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two Carling Cups and the Community Shield in three seasons at Chelsea.
He went on to win the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010 and secured the La Liga title in his second season with Real.
Despite taking them to three semi-finals, they have lost over two legs against Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
There is also the possibility that Chelsea could still finish outside the top four in the Premier League under their interim manager Rafa Benitez