Most people are familiar by now with the story of Leicester City fired Nigel Pearson after being saved from relegation only to replace him with journeyman ‘Tinker man’ Claudio Ranieri – fresh off his firing from Greece following a defeat to lowly Faroe Islands. What we didn’t know was that the man Leicester City had first tapped to replace Pearson was another Premier League veteran: Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink.
In an interview with Telesport, the Dutch boss revealed that he had been offered the head job at King Power Stadium prior to the club’s appointment of Ranieri, only to turn it down in an effort to get some much-needed rest from coaching.
‘It is true Leicester asked me [to be their coach] for this season,’ Hiddink said.
‘But I had decided it was time for a rest, and I wanted to just do nothing’.
However, Hiddink eventually decided to accept Roman Abramovich’s offer to serve as Chelsea’s interim manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, leading the club for the second half of the season as the club conducted a search for its permanent manager.
‘I do not regret that I said yes to Chelsea,’ he added.
Despite support for Hiddink from the locker room, Chelsea announced Italy manager Antonio Conte as their next manager earlier this season.
As for Ranieri, it’s safe to say that the arrangement worked out for him as well.
Follow Jonathan Machlin on Twitter @jtmlovessports
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