A bizarre Italian report has claimed that Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez will be re-joining Chelsea, should current manager Maurizio Sarri depart, as expected, for Juventus.
The Spaniard has taken the reins at Stamford Bridge before, but endured a turbulent spell at the club because of his previous association with rivals Liverpool – despite winning the Europa League.
Italian news outlet Tuttosport are the source behind this claim, although Benitez is unlikely to entertain a return to west London – even though he hasn’t yet committed his future to Newcastle.
Furthermore, MailOnlineSport counter the outlandish claim by reporting that Benitez is not on the list of candidates to replace Sarri at Chelsea.
While Benitez would surely have reservations about returning, Chelsea’s fanbase would most definitely oppose his appointment; pouring further scorn on any suggestion that the Blues board would approach him.
Prior to joining Chelsea midway through the 2012/13 campaign, Benitez was largely regarded as a nemesis to Jose Mourinho for several years.
The ‘Special One’ won six trophies during his two spells at Chelsea making him the most successful manager in the club’s history – but often found it difficult to overcome Benitez in big games.
Whilst Benitez cannot match up with the Portuguese boss in terms of achievements at Chelsea, his Europa League win over Benfica was a rare bright spot in an otherwise difficult six months.
For now, he remains at Newcastle waiting to see if a takeover materialises following a £350m bid from Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.