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

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Palace confirm Cabaye talks

Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has confirmed the club are in talks to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

Tottenham 'agree' Alderweireld deal

Tottenham have agreed a deal for Atletico Madrid central defender Toby Alderweireld, according to reports in Italy.

Liverpool linked with Balde Diao swap

Liverpool are in talks with Lazio over a player-plus-cash deal for striker Keita Balde Diao, according to reports in Italy.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company