Benitez shrugs off Mourinho reports

Rafael Benitez says rumours of Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea will not distract him from the task of beating Basle.

Last Updated: 01/05/13 at 17:58 Post Comment

Benitez: Speaks to the press ahead of Chelsea's clash with Basle

Benitez: Speaks to the press ahead of Chelsea's clash with Basle

Rafael Benitez refused to respond to Jose Mourinho's desire to be loved as speculation intensifies that the self-titled 'Special One' is poised to return to Chelsea.

Interim boss Benitez was repeatedly asked about Real Madrid boss Mourinho's comments on Tuesday night, when the Portuguese declared "I want to be where people love me to be", immediately heightening suggestions a return to Stamford Bridge was imminent.

Benitez, who is under contract until the end of the season, repeatedly rebuffed his inquisitors, even when asked if he would like to succeed Mourinho at the Bernabeu.

"It's not my business," said Benitez, who was speaking ahead of Thursday night's Europa League semi-final second leg with Basle.

"I have to concentrate on my business, that is to beat Basle tomorrow."

Repeatedly Benitez declined to comment, preferring to focus on Thursday's clash with the Swiss champions as Chelsea, who lead 2-1 from the first leg, bid to advance to the May 15 final in Amsterdam.

He said: "It's not my business. I have to concentrate on this game. That's it. I think it's quite important."

Benitez refused to bite when asked whether it was disrespectful for Mourinho to comment on a job which is currently occupied, albeit temporarily.

"Each one [person] has his way," he said. "My way is concentrate on the next game, that's it."

The Europa League is one of two remaining targets for Chelsea; the other is qualifying for next season's Champions League by finishing in the Barclays Premier League top four.

Asked how necessary it is for Chelsea to reach the competition they won in 2012 in order to attract a leading manager, Benitez said: "It was important before and it's important now. "We know it's our priority and we'll try to do it. I like to think in a positive way. We will be there."

Like his manager, Juan Mata declined to comment on Mourinho.

"It's not our business or the players' business right now," the Spain forward said. "We just have to be focused about what we're playing for, which is a very important trophy for the club, to be third in the league and try to play in the Champions League. That's it. That's all I can say."

It is not inconceivable Benitez could stay on at Chelsea.

Asked to assess his compatriot, Mata said: "Rafa is a manager who has had great seasons in every club that he has worked.

"Since he came he just tried to do his best for the team. For me and for the players he's a great manager. "We're now at the end of the season trying to be in third position, which is our aim, and having the chance to win a trophy.

"Maybe the season will be good at the end and good for Rafa, as well."


Get £90 from your free £10 bet with Sky Bet if Chelsea win 3-0


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property