Benitez linked with shock move to rival club

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Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is being linked with a return to Chelsea if, as expected, Maurizio Sarri leaves Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is being linked with a return to Chelsea if, as expected, Maurizio Sarri leaves Stamford Bridge.

Former Napoli boss Sarri is expected to make a return to Italy, just one year after leaving to take the Chelsea job, with Juventus set to unveil him sooner rather than later.

Frank Lampard is the hot favourite to replace Sarri, however Italian publication Tuttosport instead claim Benitez is on the verge of a return to the Blues.

Benitez has yet to agree an extension at Newcastle despite talks with Mike Ashley.

They have been delayed amid a potential takeover of the club by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.

Tuttosport claim that contact between Chelsea chiefs and Benitez is imminent and Roman Abramovich will only sanction Sarri’s departure when a replacement is in place.

Benitez won the Europa League during his previous stint at Stamford Bridge, guiding the club to third place in the Premier League, exactly the same a Sarri.

The news comes as reports claim Jose Mourinho could be interested in the Newcastle job should it become available.

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