Former Liverpool boss keen on Stamford Bridge post.
Rafael Benítez will express an interest in managing Chelsea if Roman Abramovich, as anticipated, opts to part company with Carlo Ancelotti this summer.
The Spaniard, who spent six years at Liverpool and claimed the 2005 European Cup, has been out of work since being sacked by Internazionale in December after a disappointing six-month spell at San Siro. He has since returned to live on Merseyside and last week publicly expressed an interest in returning to management in the Premier League.
Chelsea would offer him an attractive opportunity at a club competing in the Champions League – the Londoners still harbour some hopes of retaining their league title – and the 51-year-old is understood to be keen to be considered should Ancelotti’s two-year period in charge end next month. Abramovich and the club’s chief executive, Ron Gourlay, will be aware of his interest but will not make a decision on the Italian’s future before the end of the current campaign.
Benítez would represent a high-calibre candidate for the position given his availability and desire to work in England – “If I have good offers from abroad it will be OK, but my priority is to return to the Premier league,” he said earlier this month – with his relationship with Fernando Torres, whom he originally signed for Liverpool from Atlético Madrid, being a further attraction.
Rafa Benitez appears to be linked with a plethora of ‘soon to be vacant’ posts from Aston Villa to West Ham and all points between. If Roman Abramovich does decide to axe Carlo Ancelotti, which would be a very harsh decision to make given the Italian led the West London club to the domestic double in his first season in charge, then perhaps the former Liverpool boss will be a potential replacement.
Clearly the Spaniard did not have the best of times at Inter Milan but the 51 year old is still a manager with a proven track record and perhaps most attractively has a good success rate in the Champions League, which appears to be a crown that the Russian billionaire desperately wants to secure.
Benitez may have struggled in his final season at Anfield but overall must be judged as a success at the Merseyside club and of course he was a huge hit in La Liga, leading Valencia to two Spanish titles and that may be why some have even linked Rafa with the Real Madrid job if Jose Mourinho is relieved of the position.