Chelsea interested in Benitez stay, target Pellegrini as plan B

Chelsea could be set to make a move for Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini to replace Rafael Benitez in the summer, according to The Telegraph.

They have set their sights on the former Real Madrid and Villareal coach after Roman Abramovich reportedly “refused to be moved” by former manager Jose Mourinho’s lobbying efforts to get back into the Stamford Bridge hotseat.

It is thought that Pellegrini ticks all the boxes for Chelsea, being a disciplinarian, possesses a commitment to attacking football, speaks fluent English and has experience dealing with high profile stars on a daily basis.

The Telegraph also indicates that Abramovich’s ideal scenario would see him retaining the services of Benitez, and it is understood that Chelsea players have been discreetly sounded out about their opinions on the Spaniard staying at the Bridge.

The Mirror also carries a story about the Chelsea manager situation, but they report that Jose Mourinho is in fact set to snub Chelsea in order to stay on at Real Madrid.

Having admitted that his next managerial job will be in England, it was largely expected that the 50-year-old would be returning to Chelsea in the summer – a belief not hindered by his evident public wooing of the Blues.

However, it is thought that he now plans to remain in Spain until his contract expires, though he is likely to sit down with club president Florentino Perez to discuss the situation at the end of the season.

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