Southampton manager Ronald Koeman wants Guus Hiddink to recommend him to be the new permanent manager of Chelsea. The Dutch coach wants to return to the summit of the game and is banking on his fellow-countryman putting in a good word for him with Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Koeman has struggled in his second season on the south coast, with Saints 10th in the Premier League, but the 52-year-old has denied he is feeling under any pressure. The club were knocked out of the play-off round of the Europa League and crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Having previously manager Ajax and Valencia and been an assistant coach with Netherlands and Barcelona, it is no secret that Koeman wants a role with a side in the top tier of the sport. He has been linked with the vacant position at Chelsea since the departure of José Mourinho and has now confirmed his interest in the role.
"If Guus puts a good word in for me [at Chelsea], that would be a big influence," he told Dutch radio station Radio 538, according to The Mirror. "It is certainly something that I always have at the back of my mind [returning to a big club]. I always want to achieve the highest possible level. That has happened in Holland and that's what I'd really like to achieve abroad."
Despite Hiddink being keen on another high profile managerial position, public confirmation that he is keen on becoming Chelsea's new long-term boss comes as a major surprise with 18 months still remaining on his contract at St Mary's. The Premier League champions have been linked with moves for Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus.
Following the departure of Mourinho, Hiddink was appointed as Chelsea's interim boss for a second time until the end of the campaign. The 69-year-old is unbeaten in his opening six matches as Blues boss, ahead of the trip to Premier League leaders Arsenal.