Tag Archives: Rafael Benitez

Benitez interested in Ba reunion

Napoli are considering a move for Chelsea striker Demba Ba, the Daily Star understands.

The Serie A runners up, managed by former Blues interim manager Rafael Benitez,  are looking for bring in two new strikers having cashed in on Uruguay international Edinson Cavani, with their other top target thought to be Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Ba has failed to reproduce the form he showed at previous club Newcastle United since moving to Stamford Bridge just six months ago, and could be allowed to move on as Jose Mourinho attempts to sign a new centre forward.

Aston Villa had reportedly been interested in signing the Senegal international, though with Christian Benteke having put pen to paper on a new deal at Villa Park, any potential move is now unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, the Chelsea are hoping to end speculation over Juan Mata’s future by offering him a lucrative new contract, according to the Metro.

The two times Blues Player of the Season has been linked with both Barcelona and Manchester United this summer.

Elsewhere, the Daily Star have reported that the club have signed promising Chilean star Cristian Cuevas.

The 18 year old left back, who can also play on the left wing, recently featured in the Under 20’s World Cup and has signed a five year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho now ‘the happy one’

Jose Mourinho has declared that he is ‘the happy one’ following his return to Stamford Bridge for his second spell as manager.

The 50 year old yesterday gave his first press conference since retaking the reigns at Chelsea; speaking to the broadcast media for almost an hour.

On the players still with the club from his first regime, Mourinho stressed that there would be “no privilege for them”, whilst expressing his willingness to work with those who have served the club well in recent years.

On John Terry, Mourinho refused to comment on any decisions that were made by Rafael Benitez during his time at the club, but did confirm that would the former England skipper would remain as club captain.

In the case of those players out on loan, specifically Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the Portuguese coach said his job was to “extract the best out of that investment”.

Mourinho insists that he has learnt a lot in his five and a half years since initially leaving Stamford Bridge, during which time he won leagues and cups with Real Madrid and Inter Milan, also clinching the Champions League with the latter during a treble winning 2009/10 campaign at the San Siro.

Chelsea eye player plus cash deal for Cavani

Chelsea have reportedly offered Fernando Torres to Napoli as bait in an attempt to sign Uruguay international Edinson Cavani.

The Blues have long been linked with a move for the forward, who scored 29 goals in 34 league appearances during the 2012/13 campaign – the best record in Serie A.

Torres, who was Chelsea’s top scorer in all competitions last season, has been linked with a move to Naples following their appointment of former Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez, so the rumours of the Spanish international potentially being used as a makeweight in a deal to sign Cavani are unsurprising.

However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has insisted that prize asset will not be allowed to leave unless his buyout clause of £53 million is met.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain claim that Juan Mata is a target for Barcelona, who are considering making their own player plus cash offer.

According to El Econmista, the La Liga champions are preparing an offer of around £17 million plus Alexis Sanchez for Mata, who was recently named Chelsea’s player of the year.

Finally, Ashley Cole will captain England for this evening’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

The left back recently became only the seventh player to reach 100 caps for England.


Benitez named new Napoli boss

Rafael Benitez has been appointed the new manger of Sere A side Napoli on a two year deal.

The 53 year old, whose spell as interim manager of Chelsea in about to come to an end, will replace outgoing manager Walter Mazzarri, who has joined Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, Colombian international Radmel Falcao is expected to finalise his move to Monaco today.

The striker had been linked with moves to both Chelsea and Real Madrid, but has opted for a move to former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri’s mega rich side, who have just been promoted back to Ligue 1.

However, reports in Spain suggest that the aforementioned sides who missed out on the 27 year olds services have been included in a clause which gives them first refusal if and when he moves on.

Elsewhere, Roy Hodgson has included John Terry’s name on a list of former England internationals to have announced their retirement, or international retirement during this season, despite rumours that the Chelsea captain could make a U-turn on his decision.

Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole are expected to start in the friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley tomorrow evening.

Roy Hodgson’s men then travel to Rio de Janero to face Brazil on Sunday.

Torres keen on Chelsea stay

Fernando Torres has expressed his gratitude to Chelsea for standing by him during the difficult periods he has faced at Stamford Bridge, and in doing so quashed rumours that he is set to leave the club.

Reports in the media yesterday suggested that Torres could follow Rafael Benitez out of the club, with Napoli a potential destination for the Spanish pair.

However, the striker has called the prospect of playing under Jose Mourinho, who is expected to be reappointed as Chelsea manager in due course, a “big motivation”, whilst maintaining that respect should be shown to Benitez, who guided the club to third place in the Premier League, and Europa League glory in Amsterdam last week.

Elsewhere, Marco Materazzi has told Football Italia that he would “love” to become Mourinho’s assistant, following rumours that he could follow the 50 year old to Stamford Bridge.

The former defender worked with the Special One at Inter Milan, where they enjoyed success in the league, cup and Champions League.

Someone else who is rumoured to follow Mourinho to Chelsea is Cristiano Ronaldo, after former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon declared that the Blues were one of only three sides who could afford him.

Mourinho deal agreed?

Jose Mourinho will fly to London on June 2nd to sign a four year contract at Chelsea, according to the Daily Star.

Real Madrid confirmed that the 50 year old, who is the hot favourite to replace interim Blues manager Rafael Benitez, will leave the Bernabeu once the Spanish season is over.

Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge ran from 2004 to 2007, when he won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two league cups.

The self-proclaimed Special One is set to sign a deal worth £250,000 per week, and is expected to be accompanied by fitness coach Rui Faria and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro.

Meanwhile, Napoli are reportedly planning a double swoop for Rafael Benitez and Fernando Torres.

The Mirror claim that representatives of the Serie A club held successful talks with Benitez before he flew to America for the two post season friendlies against Manchester City, who incidentally are favourites to sign striker Edinson Cavani.

City’s Edin Dzeko is expected to go in the other direction, though it is thought that Napoli believe Benitez could persuade Torres to join him should he make the move.

Despite having a slow season domestically, Torres finished the campaign with 23 goals in all competitions.

Lampard keen to keep playing

Frank Lampard has revealed that he aims to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the one year deal he signed last week.

It had looked as if the England midfielder was set to leave the club, though it has been confirmed that he will be a Chelsea player until next summer.

However, the 35 old is keen to show that he can continue playing at the top level for even longer, hinting to the London Standard that reaching the 250 goal mark could even be a possibility:

“I’m certainly not ruling it out. If I do those three years and play consistently enough, then I’d like to think the goals will come.”

 Meanwhile, Lampard revealed to The Sun that Rafael Benitez kept a distance between himself and the Chelsea players whilst he was interim manager.

 ‘He was not really the sort of manager you could sit and talk with. He won’t go round putting his arm around every player — and I’m not saying that’s wrong.”

Benitez signed off on Sunday having guided the club to third place in the league, securing automatic qualification for next seasons Champions League, as well as the Europa League final triumph in Amsterdam seven days ago.

Benitez signs of with a win to secure third place

Rafael Benitez‘s time as interim manager of Chelsea ended in victory as they beat Everton 2-1 at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

Juan Mata opened the scoring after just seven minutes with his twentieth goal of the season before Steven Naismith equalised for the Toffee’s, themselves playing under the guidance of Manchester United bound David Moyes for the final time.

Top scorer Fernando Torres then hit the winner fourteen minutes from time to secure all three points for the hosts, who end the season on 75 points, their highest total in three years.

The result clinched third place, and automatic qualification for the Blues, who will now continue their search for a new manager, though it is expected that former boss Jose Mourinho will be appointed accordingly.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku ended a fine season on loan with West Bromwich Albion by hitting a second half hat trick to secure a remarkable 5-5 draw against Champions Manchester United in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match as manager.

Lukaku finished the season on seventeen league goals, the best return by any player in the Premier League era for the Baggies, who are desperate to keep hold of the Belgian international for next season.