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Chelsea deny Hiddink deal before Euro return

  • Story Highlights
  • Chelsea have lost only to Tottenham Hotspur since Hiddink took charge
  • Champions League semifinals loom after 3-1 win over Liverpool last week
  • Chairman Bruce Buck rules out a return to Stamford Bridge by Jose Mourinho
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(CNN) -- Chelsea moved to quash increased media speculation by saying that interim manager Guus Hiddink will not stay in charge next season despite recent fine results.

Hiddink has worked his magic at Stamford Bridge to re-energize Chelsea.

Hiddink has worked his magic at Stamford Bridge to re-energize Chelsea.

A superb 3-1 first leg win at Liverpool in the quarterfinals of the Champions League last week ramped up speculation that Hiddink would change his mind and commit to Stamford Bridge full-time.

Blues chairman Bruce Buck used an item released on the club's official Web site www.chelseafc.com on the eve of the return leg to pour cold water on the reports.

"There has been a lot of speculation about him staying, particularly as he has been doing a great job. That will not be the case," Buck was quoted.

Russia national coach Hiddink was appointed on a lucrative short term deal until the end of the season when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in February.

Under his charge, Chelsea have lost only one match and remained in contention for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

But Buck added: "It is now up to the board to find a manager for the long term and that is a process that has started and is ongoing."

Chelsea captain John Terry earlier claimed that Hiddink would be the players' choice for the vacant job.

Terry told the Observer: "Things have gone very well and I'm sure there will be talks ongoing. If we keep progressing there's only going to be one option."

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He added: "He's done brilliantly. He's on at us every day in training, and he doesn't let anyone get away with anything."

AC Milan coach Carlos Ancelotti has been linked with Chelsea as well as his city rival at Inter Milan Jose Mourinho, but Buck also ruled out a return for the Portuguese coach.

"The process to appoint a full-time manager has begun, but Jose Mourinho will not be returning," he said.

Dutchman Hiddink has a contract with Russia until the end of the 2010 World Cup finals and has said he will honor the deal, assuming his side qualify for South Africa.

Hiddink has managed to get the best of the Chelsea players by refusing to establish close friendships with any of them and that appears to be key to his success.

"We're not close," said Hiddink. "I have to take decisions against some players because they're not playing.

"They might be out of shape, or for tactical reasons. I like to have a very direct, open relationship with my players. I don't want to have a relationship where I might play games with them.

"I don't like that. I have an open relationship. Then I can challenge them with an open mind and an open face. But, on the other hand, a manager should not be having bonds and friendships.

"That's maybe after we have done our job in this club. I like a very straightforward, direct approach because then you can challenge them in a way to be professional."

Hiddink added: "We, and I emphasise this, challenge each other in this group in a very open and direct relationship.

"There's one aim. The aim is to get to the next round. If players are under-performing just knowing that the manager is leaving at the end of the season, it's not the right professional attitude.

"We're very sharp on that attitude. Even though I'm not here next year, they have to respond. If they don't, they're not equipped to be at a big club."

Hiddink's squad has the perfect opportunity to demonstrate they are equipped to be at Chelsea when they face a Liverpool side that has nothing to lose.

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