Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Benitez hints at Mourinho arrival

Jose Mourinho could return to Chelsea next season

Rafael Benitez hopes to guide Chelsea to a Champions League return before handing over to his successor - and the Spaniard has suggested the new boss will be Jose Mourinho.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham, where victory would virtually seal Champions League football next season for the 2012 winners, Benitez indicated he expects Mourinho to return to Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid coach Mourinho, who left after three years as Blues boss in September 2007, has been strongly linked with a return, with a date of July 1 mooted. "The next year there will be another manager," said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November and will depart this summer at the end of his short-term contract.

"I think everybody knows who will be here."

Benitez was asked if he would volunteer help to the new manager.

He said: "Good question. You think that he will ask me? That's something you have to ask the new manager."

Chelsea skipper John Terry dropped similar hints.

He told the Sun: "It is important for both of us to show respect to Real Madrid because he has a contract there.

"For me, personally, it is difficult to go into this subject.

"But the fans have shown clearly that he is a man they love, above all for what he won, and for pushing the club in a direction it had never gone in before. He is still the 'Special One'."

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