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Benitez aware of Pep talk

Rafael Benitez is confident Pep Guardiola will tell him if he decides to take the Chelsea job, but has admitted Roman Abramovich is unlikely to do the same.

Last Updated: 25/11/12 at 09:54 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: New Chelsea manager not worries by Pep Guardiola speculation

Rafael Benitez: New Chelsea manager not worries by Pep Guardiola speculation

Former Barcelona boss Guardiola is on a one-year sabbatical from football and is said to be Chelsea owner Abramovich's number one managerial target.

Guardiola's agent claims his client, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Manchester City, will make no decision about his future until next year.

And if he elects to join Chelsea, Benitez - appointed manager on an interim basis until the end of the summer - expects to be among the first to know.

"I think so!" he joked. "I have good relations with Pep so any time I call him, I say, 'How are you doing?'

"I know he is enjoying life in New York, now, with his family."

Benitez doubts his bosses at Chelsea would also tell him if they were in talks with Guardiola, adding: "I don't think that they will let me know. But I don't have any problem. I know the situation.

"I have come to create a competitive team and to win trophies.

"It might be that you can win three trophies, which would be difficult for anyone.

"The worst case scenario - if you win three trophies and then they would say, 'No, we give the job to another one' - I will be so pleased with three trophies."

Happy

Winning silverware barely scratches the surface of what is expected of a Chelsea manager by the most demanding owner in football, who reputedly wants to watch 'Barcelona in blue shirts'.

Benitez, who met Abramovich over dinner for the first time on Thursday night, said: "He's not desperate in terms of, 'We have to play Barcelona-style'. He wants to enjoy watching games.

"The way to enjoy is to see your team winning, and attacking and creating chances. The way that we create chances could be passing the ball or with a long ball."

He added: "If you score 10 goals and concede seven... I think he will be happy.

"I wouldn't be happy because I don't want to concede goals but I want to score a lot of goals. My job is to find this balance."

Benitez also questioned how realistic it was to replicate the Barca model overnight, adding: "You will not have this if you don't spend some time doing the same thing for years."

Something else Benitez will have to get used to is a lack of control over transfers, but he insists that is not a major problem.

"I can tell you 200 players I wanted to sign in my career and we couldn't," he said, suggesting he would happy to be given a list of targets from which to choose.

"I'm not someone that has no experience and will say, 'Oh, I want to do this and do that', and it's not sensible. You have to be sensible."

He added: "Eden Hazard, we wanted for Liverpool. We couldn't sign him. In our list, maybe he was here [top] but we have to go for this one [lower down]."

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S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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