Sunday 19 November 2017

Benitez expects Mourinho to succeed him at Chelsea

Matt McGeehan

Rafael Benitez today suggested that he expects Jose Mourinho to be named his successor as Chelsea manager.

Interim boss Benitez again confirmed he will depart Stamford Bridge this summer at the end of his short-term contract.

Real Madrid head 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.

"I think everybody knows who will be here."

John Terry has revealed the full extent of Jose Mourinho's continued grip on Chelsea by admitting the pair regularly exchange text messages regarding the club.

Terry said that the former Chelsea manager was still "The Special One" in his eyes and gave a possible summer return his seal of approval by claiming the Portuguese was a "top manager who I really enjoyed working under".

Mourinho is certain to leave Real Madrid this summer after the Spanish club missed out at home and in Europe this season and the speculation linking him with a second spell at Chelsea is only likely to intensify following this high-profile intervention from such a senior figure at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, who has fallen out of favour with interim manager Rafael Benítez, also used the interview to lavish praise on Mourinho's man-management style.

"He's still 'The Special One'", Terry told Spanish newspaper Marca.

"We send each other text messages and often wish each other good luck. He's interested in our results and everything that happens at the club. He's not only in contact with me but also with (Frank) Lampard and other players.

"He's been winning titles at Real for three years and he has the chance to win the Copa del Rey this season. All I can say is that he's a top manager who I really enjoyed working under

"He always thought about the squad, not just the starting-eleven. He explained things to you, also when you weren't playing and demanded everything from you. We worked hard and we could also talk to him about personal problems. He was a friend. We were all sad when he left."

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