Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho smiles during his press conference on the eve of the Manchester United game.
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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho would welcome Jurgen Klopp to the Barclays Premier League – after being assured he is not coming to take his job.
The 47-year-old German has been tipped to make the move to England next season after confirming earlier this week that he will leave current club Borussia Dortmund after seven years at the end of the season.
That news has sparked a frenzy of speculation over possible destinations with Manchester City having already indicated he is not in their sights with pressure mounting on Manuel Pellegrini.
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Mourinho admits he has no idea where Klopp will end up – but knows it will not be at Stamford Bridge.
He said: "He’s a very good coach, but I have no idea if he comes to the Premier League. He’s a very good coach, he’s a good friend, I like him very much.
"If he comes, welcome. But I don’t want to get into that story, ‘where is he going?’
"The only thing I know is that he told me he’s not coming to Chelsea, for sure – and he told me that personally, so, I’m calm."
Stoke boss Mark Hughes forecast that Klopp’s pedigree in European competition would work in his favour for clubs looking to compete on the biggest stage.
He said: "A lot of foreign coaches want to come to the Premier League – it is very attractive to them. He is a big character and personality it seems.
"I don’t know the guy personally as I haven’t met him, but he has had a good record apart from this year, where he has had a real struggle.
"Maybe that suggests the way he works works for a certain period. But he has had to obviously handle the loss of key players in his time, because that is what happens in Germany invariably – Bayern Munich come and take your better players, strengthening themselves and weakening you as an opponent – so he has had to manage through that.
"But he has had great success in Europe and the top clubs, I’m certain, will be looking at him because that is what they want – people who have had Champions League experience and who have done well in that competition.
"That seems to be a pre-requisite before they even start discussing who might come and go."
However, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted the arrival of big-name coaches in the Premier League simply increases the challenge for home-grown bosses.
He said: "It’s like being a player – we have the best league in the world and the biggest brand in the world, so that attracts the biggest coaches and the biggest players.
"We have to live with that, we have to be so good. Not only as a player today, but also as a manager and a coach, you have to embrace that challenge. We are faced with that challenge and have to meet it head on.
"I’m not surprised if there is a lot of interest around him, if that is what he said, but he has not had quite as good a season [at Dortmund] as a couple of seasons ago, so perhaps that is why he is jumping ship and going somewhere else, as he sees he cannot go any further where he is, where he has done a fantastic job."
Meanwhile, Klopp’s compatriot and Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker admitted surprise at his decision to leave Dortmund, but backed him to be a success in England.
Mertesacker said: "I’ve got some nice experiences in the Premier League and of course it would be nice if a German coach would take the challenge of working in the Premier League.
"It’s not so good for Dortmund that he is leaving, but I still wish him all the best and hopefully one day he will manage abroad. I think his passion would fit and to see him in England would be very interesting.
"Everyone has their philosophy and I think Jurgen Klopp has proved that he’s top-level and can teach a lot."