With Maurizio Sarri having officially been named as the new Juventus boss and Chelsea manager-less, links with the Spaniard felt inevitable given his current deal at St James’ is due to expire in 12 days as things stand.
That said, Frank Lampard looks the clear favourite to get the job at Stamford Bridge, but with Derby claiming no approach has been made as of yet, Rafa Benitez’s name is still being thrown around.
Here’s what Lee Ryder’s had to say about the situation, with him believing that Rafa is still popular with the powers that be at Chelsea – stating they will ‘definitely’ talk to the 59-year-old should any move for Lampard fail:
“He’s still well liked by the powers that be at Chelsea – even if he isn’t popular with the supporters.
“If Lampard didn’t get the job then Benitez would be considered, that much is sure. They would definitely talk to him.”
Strong interest from the Chinese Super League has been reported this morning, but I think it’s far more likely that Benitez stays in England, keeping him close to his family and in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Chelsea may not be the most appealing option given his relationship with their fans, however he’d get money to spend (once their transfer ban ends!) and would inherit a hugely talented squad set to compete in the Champions League next season – three things he can’t really get at Newcastle if Mike Ashley refuses to compromise.
With there being just 12 days left until his contract expires, exit-talk is inevitable until we either A) offer him improved terms or B) see a takeover go through.