Benitez confident about future
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez is confident he will not be out of work for long as he seeks to conclude his short-term contract at Stamford Bridge on a high.
As he prepares to make a first return to Liverpool as an opposing manager, Benitez was asked about his personal future. Will he be in football next season?
"Yes, for sure," he said. "Yes, 100%."
Asked if he has had offers, Benitez was coy, insisting winning at Anfield was his sole focus. He is a professional, he said, and despite leading Liverpool to their fifth European Cup in six successful years, three points for the Blues on Sunday is all that matters.
"A coach or manager has to concentrate on winning games and then your agent can talk to people," he added. "I prefer just to talk about what I'm doing now and what I want to do on Sunday."
He was questioned directly over whether he would be interested in staying at Stamford Bridge, if given the option.
"I have a contract until the end of the season," he said. "If I say 'yes' we'll have another... Someone will maybe interpret it in a different way. I don't want to create a situation that might destabilise where we are at the moment.
"At the moment we are so close to the end of the season and we have so many important games and I have to concentrate on games."
Due to his prior association with Liverpool, Benitez was an unpopular appointment amongst Chelsea fans and this resistance may make a permanent appointment nigh-on impossible. Yet since the Spaniard made an impassioned plea for the fans to spend their energies supporting the team, rather than barracking him, the tide of vitriol has retreated.
So much so that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Benitez could stay beyond the end of his current short-term contract. Finishing third behind champions-elect Manchester United and 2012 winners Manchester City, coupled with victory in the Europa League - where Basle are Chelsea's last-four opponents - would certainly boost Benitez's options for next term.