LONDON The Premier League apologised to Chelsea on Sunday after inadvertently publishing a pre-prepared story announcing Jose Mourinho's return to the club.
The story, later removed, appeared on the official Premier League website (www.premierleague.com) with Monday's date and the headline: "Portuguese coach is back at Stamford Bridge after signing a xx-year contract."
"Jose Mourinho returns for second stint as Chelsea manager. Portuguese signs x-year-deal," the website added in key points alongside the story.
A Premier League spokesman said they had spoken to Chelsea and apologised.
"It was a publishing mistake," he said. "We have no prior knowledge of a pending appointment."
Mourinho bowed out of Real Madrid with a 4-2 home La Liga win over Osasuna on Saturday and is poised to rejoin Chelsea, although neither the west London club nor the coach have confirmed his next destination.
The Portuguese first joined Chelsea as manager in 2004 and won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006.
Former Stamford Bridge defender Ricardo Carvalho made clear on Saturday that Mourinho was set to return when he told Sky Sports television that the Portuguese could win the title with them again next year.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien and Clare Fallon)