Stamford Bridge owner ready to swing the axe and is making plans to replace Spaniard.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to axe interim Blues boss Rafa Benitez within the next 48 hours following the Spaniard’s outburst against both the club and it’s supporters.
Abramovich appears to have weighed up the damage caused by the former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan boss’s comments against any disruption of a new manager and is ready to bring an early end to Benitez’s short term Chelsea contract.
Abramovich is said to be seething after comments made by Benitez following Chelsea’s FA Cup win over Middlesbrough and feels that statements made about the 52 year old manager’s ‘interim’ title being a ‘mistake’ made by the West London club have angered the Russian billionaire.
He is also aware that a public admonishment of the club’s fans by Benitez is likely to lead to yet more potentially damaging protests by the Chelsea supporters which could further destabilize the push for a Champions League berth, now the very least Abramovich is looking to secure from a very trying season.
Privately Roman Abramovich will be aware that the decision to bring in Rafa Benitez was always going to be one that could back-fire. The temporary boss had previous run-ins with the Chelsea faithful during his time with Liverpool and the sense of animosity towards the manager was always bubbling under the surface.
The only way Benitez was likely to ‘win over’ the supporters was by putting in a faultless term in charge of the West London club but his reign has been anything but.
Chelsea have fallen away in the Premier League title race and are now in danger of surrendering a top four finish. Benitez saw his side crash out of the Champions League, though clearly the lion’s share of blame on that front lies at Roberto Di Matteo’s door.
Losing the FIFA Club World Cup Final to Corinthians is said to have displeased Abramovich and Chelsea’s Capital One Cup semi-final defeat to Swansea City robbed the club of a Wembley final, that could perhaps have helped Benitez’s cause.
Roman Abramovich will now look to bring in a new manager on a short-term basis or, if possible, bring forward any potential summer appointment to help oversee the conclusion of the current campaign, a move that will greatly depend on the availability, or otherwise, of any potential candidate.
One leading candidate to take the reins for the remainder of the current season is former boss Avram Grant, who has been in attendance at Stamford Bridge fixtures in recent weeks and is a manager that Chelsea’s old guard is said to respect.
The Israeli is available to take over the post and seems likely to be interested in stepping into the breach.