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Chelsea statement on Benitez appointment

The club has released the following statement.

"Chelsea Football Club can confirm Rafael Benitez has been appointed interim first-team manager until the end of the season.

"The owner and the board believe that, in Benitez, we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.

"The 52-year-old Spaniard is due to meet the players at the training ground in Cobham tomorrow.

"The two-time UEFA Manager of the Year comes with outstanding pedigree.

"He began his managerial career in his homeland, most notably at Valencia where he built a reputation as one of Europe's top coaches by winning the Spanish League twice and the UEFA Cup.

"He then spent six years at Liverpool and led them to their fifth European Cup and an FA Cup."


Pardew: Di Matteo sacking 'not fair'

Alan Pardew, Newcastle United manager. Credit: PA

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has expressed his astonishment at Chelsea counterpart Roberto di Matteo's departure just six months after winning the Champions League.

The Italian's eventful reign drew to a close in the wake of last night's 3-0 defeat by Juventus in Turin which left the Blues fighting to qualify for the knockout stages of this season's competition.

Pardew, who will lead his own team into Europa League battle against Maritimo tomorrow, said:

"The shock that should be there for the fans and the media should sound something to the owner of that football club because I don't know if that's the ninth manager or whatever it is in so many short years. It's just not fair.

"As far as I am concerned, he has done absolutely nothing wrong."

For more on this story visit the ITV National News website.

Report: Guardiola 'approached by Chelsea to be boss'

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has revealed that Pep Guardiola has been approached to become the new Chelsea boss, but that ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has not.

This week Pep Guardiola has been approached to take over Chelsea if the sacking got confirmed.

Pep said he will continue with his sabbatical.

Pep will doubt if it is a good idea to work for a man who changes his mind that often.

[...]Tthe instability of the club will make Pep think twice.

And Rafa Benítez, as we speak doing a talk in Abu Dhabi, has not got an offer from Chelsea or a call from them either.

For more on this story visit the ITV National News website.

Di Matteo first top-flight manager to leave post this season

Roberto Di Matteo. Credit: PA

Di Matteo has become the first top-flight manager to leave his post this season.

He took charge of Chelsea in March after the club had sacked Andre Villas-Boas. Initially Di Matteo took over on a temporary basis.

He rescued the club's ailing Champions League campaign and steered them against all odds to victory over Bayern Munich in the final on the German team's home ground, having already secured the FA Cup.

He was given a two-year contract in June but not before there had been speculation over whether Guardiola would take over.

The season started well domestically but they have fallen slightly off the pace in recent weeks.

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