Maurizio Sarri will leave Chelsea as he pursues the job as the new Juventus manager, so now the London club will have to quickly appoint a manager.
And Italian media outlet Tuttosport are reporting today that talks with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez have already begun with Chelsea as owner Roman Abramovich has always thought highly of the Spanish manager.
In fact, the report goes so far as to say the appointment of Benitez as the Chelsea manager is imminent and could be announced within 48 hours.
This has come right out of the blue.
And since Chelsea do need to look for a new manager – Rafa’s available because he’s a free agent in 19 days and will cost nothing to appoint since he doesn’t have to break his contract.
Rafa Benitez – Chelsea manager Nov 2012 – May 2013
Won Europa League – 3rd place in Premier League
But Chelsea fans don’t like Rafa for the way he criticized the club when he was the manager of the Reds from 2004-2010.
And reports from London in the last hour are the Chelsea fans have already begun to protest Rafa’s possible appointment.
Even if Roman Abramovich wanted to appoint Rafa we don’t think he will if the fans react like they did when he was appointed as caretaker manager back in late 2012.
And that seems to be what’s happening.
And the last thing Rafa needs in his next job are fans who don’t approve of him after he’s been made a God-like figure on Tyneside over the last three years he has managed Newcastle United.
Rafa has done an excellent job with very little funds to take Newcastle from the Championship to the middle of the Premier League.
It’s a bit of a shocking headline, but there’s only one outlet reporting this – Tuttosport – so we don’t think there’s much behind the headline that Rafa could sign for the Blues.
We hope there’s not much behind the headline that Rafa could sign for the Blues.