independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Benitez expects Blues to spend big

Rafa Benitez believes his Chelsea successor, rumoured to be Jose Mourinho, pictured, will spend big

Chelsea will underline their desire to win yet more silverware next season by going on a £100million summer spending spree, according to outgoing manager Rafael Benitez.

Benitez's interim spell in charge of Chelsea is ending on a high after the Spaniard's team beat Benfica 2-1 to lift the Europa League trophy in his penultimate game in charge. Jose Mourinho is the overwhelming favourite to replace Benitez this summer, with the Portuguese expected to sever ties with Real Madrid.

"Chelsea will be much better next season because they will spend £100million and they will sign three or four players," Benitez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. "They have good young players like (Victor) Moses, (Eden) Hazard, Oscar, (Cesar) Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Fernando Torres, Oriol (Romeu), they are all improving and they all have potential. The foundation is already there. The future is bright for them."

Speculation has intensified that Mourinho will go back to Chelsea after he declared that he wanted to manage at a club where he "is loved" following a turbulent two-year spell in Spain.

Right-back Paulo Ferreira was one of the players Mourinho recruited as part of a big spending spree following his appointment as Chelsea boss nine years ago. The 34-year-old, who also worked with Mourinho at Porto, thinks everyone at Chelsea wants to see the charismatic coach return.

"It's not just me, I think everyone (wants to see him come back)," Ferreira said. "This means titles and that is what the club wants. Nothing is better than him."

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech thinks Mourinho's return is almost inevitable.

"There is a big probability that it can be Jose," he said. "He has a fantastic history with the club, the supporters love him, and he would be good for the players, obviously."

Despite all the clamour for Mourinho's second coming at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea squad are by no means eager to see the back of Benitez.

"A lot of supporters have not been fair with him, and sometimes I think they should think more about the team than the manager," Ferreira said. "He has given his best even though he knows he is going to leave at the end of the season."

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