Grant to take over as Chelsea coach-BBC

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LONDON, Sep 20 (Reuters) Chelsea's director of football Avram Grant is to take over as coach following the shock departure of Jose Mourinho, the BBC reported today.

The club would not immediately officially confirm the appointment but Chelsea sources said it would not be a surprise if Grant, who is close to billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, took on the role.

Chelsea announced early on Thursday they and Mourinho, who won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup in his three years in charge, had parted company by mutual consent.

Grant, an Israeli and former coach of his country's national side, was appointed director of football in the close season and had been shadowing Mourinho. He sat behind the Portuguese in the dug-out at matches and attended training sessions.

Mourinho had opposed his appointment during a long standoff with Abramovich last season but appeared to have accepted his arrival at the start of the season.

REUTERS BJR RAI1329

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