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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Proud Mourinho leaves Chelsea receiving 40m dollars as compensation

Jose Mourinho settled a massive compensation package with Chelsea and then declared he was proud of his achievements with the Barclays Premier League side.

Mourinho finally agreed on a financial settlement late on Thursday evening after agreeing to leave the club by mutual consent earlier in the day.

Chelsea have since appointed their director of football Avram Grant as his replacement.

Mourinho's decision to step down as manager was due to a breakdown in his relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy, but he is set to land a reported £20million pay-off as compensation for the remaining three years of his contract - worth around £6m a year.

Mourinho said: "I am very proud of my work in Chelsea Football Club and I think my decision in May 2004 to come to England was an excellent one.

"It was a beautiful and rich period of my career. I want to thank all Chelsea FC supporters for what I believe is a never-ending love story.

"I wish great success to the club, a club that will be forever connected to me for some historical moments.

"I wish the players happiness in football and in their family life. Finally on my wife's and children' s behalf we thank the great professionalism of their school teachers and the beauty of so many friends."

After a night of negotiations at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea finally released a statement confirming that all contractual arrangements had been sorted out with their former coach, the AP reports.

The former coach might receive as much as 25 million pounds compensation for the remaining three years on his 5.2 million- pound-a-year contract, the BBC said on its Web site.

Neither Mourinho nor Grant commented on the change. Mourinho sent text messages to some players wishing them luck, the Telegraph newspaper said on its Web site.

Chelsea played to a 1-1 home draw with Norwegian long-shot Rosenborg in its first match of this season's Champions League, two days before Mourinho left. Chelsea has three wins in six Premier League matches this season. It's two points behind league leader Arsenal and tied with Manchester United at 11 points.

United is even money to beat Chelsea on Sept. 23, while Chelsea is 12-5 to win at Old Trafford for the first time since May 2005. That day, Mourinho's team won 3-1 to set a Premiership points record two weeks after winning the title.

Mourinho, the Premiership manager of the year in 2005 and 2006, spent 182 million pounds bringing 23 players to Stamford Bridge. He had a talent for turning good players into great ones, Le Saux said, an ability that helped Chelsea retain the league title in 2006, win the F.A. Cup in May and twice win the second- tier Carling Cup.

While installing Grant as coach and retaining Steve Clarke as his assistant will help ease the transition, the pair may not be able to bolster morale, former Chelsea player Gavin Peacock told BBC Radio Five Live.

"It's going to be hard to get that team spirit that Jose managed to manufacture,'' Peacock said.

Frank Lampard, already at Chelsea when Mourinho joined from European champion Porto in May 2004, may leave, U.K. bookmaker Coral said. The England international midfielder is 8-11 to depart by the start of next season after ending contract talks before this campaign began, Bloomberg reports.

Source: agencies