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Rafa Benitez favourite to manage Chelsea at Club World Cup

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is set to fly into London on Wednesday night for talks over the vacant Chelsea managerial position following the departure of Roberto di Matteo earlier in the day.

Di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to both Champions League and FA Cup glory only last season, was dismissed just a month ahead of the Club Wolrd Cup in Japan, where the Blues will likely encounter Brazilian Copa Libertadores winners Corinthians.

It appears, though, that with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola as yet unwilling to end his sabbatical period away from the game, Spanish manager Rafael Benitez heads the list of candidates for the position.

Benitez, who achieved great success with Valencia and Liverpool in the early 2000s, is well regarded by the Chelsea hierarchy, but looks set to be an unpopular appointment with the club's supporters.

The Spaniard has previously won the end of year showcase, beating TP Mazembe with Inter Milan in 2010, but saw his Liverpool side defeated by São Paulo in the 2005 final.


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