With his time as Interim First Team Coach with Chelsea now winding down, Rafa Benitiez will be pointing at another successful addition to his CV as he seeks out his next appointment. Although many will have said that the Stamford Bridge post was a ‘no win’ situation, the Spaniard has come out of it with an enhanced reputation and even a grudging respect from Chelsea fans. This may be enhanced however if a report in the Daily Mirror proves to have substance.
The tabloid has linked Benitez with a move to rising Serie A force Napoli, revealing that initial talks may have already taken place in London prior to Benitez flying out to America with Chelsea for the final part of his assignment. Despite Naploi’s strong season in Serie A, wherein they finished as runners-up and qualified for Champions League football, their current manager has declared his intention to quit at the end of the season. A link with Inter Milan is strongly thought to be the reason. Regardless however, the managerial carousel may just have presented Benitez with another chance to work at a top club. This is of course should he not be persuaded to take over at PSV if Carlo Ancelotti decamps to Real Madrid. If he does go to Italy – and this is where enhanced thanks from Chelsea may cut in – talk is that he is linked with a move to take flop Fernando Torres with him.
Although Torres finished the season with a flourish, there’re strong doubts as to whether incoming manager Jose Mourinho sees the Spaniard as the man to lead his line. Should the new manager have different ideas, a deal to take Torres to Italy would do very nicely for Chelsea. Incoming funds from the sale, plus taking away one of the top earners at the club would free up funds for Mourinho’s targeted players.
The club, and especially the fans, have shown amazing loyalty to Torres, and if it was thought that Mourinho could perform the oracle and turn back the clock to the Torres of old, they would surely be reluctant to sell, but the Portuguese may see such a task as beyond even his expansive talents. A deal to move the striker would therefore be a fairly amicable way to bring down the curtain on his Stamford Bridge stay. Watch out for the Champions’ League draw next year though. If Chelsea and Napoli are asked to reprise their battles of 2012, there could just be a little added spice to it.