Jose Mourinho is officially returning to Chelsea as the London club’s new manager, six years after his acrimonious departure.

Chelsea confirmed on Monday that the 50-year-old Mourinho was hired on a four-year contract after completing a three-year stint at Real Madrid, where his final season ended without a trophy.

Madrid released the Portuguese coach from his contract a year early, so Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will not have to pay compensation to be re-united with the manager he fell out with in 2007.

There have been seven managers at Chelsea in the six years since Mourinho left, having won every major domestic honour at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: “I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate.”

More In: Football | Sport