Jose Mourinho: Benitez hints at Chelsea return for former boss

Benitez questioned on Mourinho

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has added to the speculation surrounding Jose Mourinho's possible return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Mourinho, 50, has been widely tipped to leave his post with Spanish giants Real Madrid at the end of the season and return to the club where he was manager between 2004 and 2007.

Speaking on Tuesday, Benitez, who will leave Chelsea when the current campaign ends, said: "The next year there will be another manager. I think everybody knows who will be here."

When pressed directly on whether he will be replaced by Mourinho, the former Liverpool boss said: "It's not my concern what will happen here next season, I'm just concentrating on doing my job."

At a Real press conference on Tuesday, Mourinho denied he was trying to provoke the La Liga club into sacking him so he could receive a substantial pay-off.

"I've considered staying," said the former Porto and Inter Milan boss, who took over at the Bernabeu on 31 May, 2010.

He added that he felt the media were responsible for a lot of the stories surrounding his future.

"The fans think what you - the press - sell them," he said. "To make things clear, I'll tell you that I'll be paid until my last working day here. I don't want even one euro more the day I decide that I'm not going to continue."

Mourinho gave a strong indication that he wants to return to England - and to Stamford Bridge in particular - after Real's Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund last week.

"I know in England I am loved," said Mourinho. "I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one."

His agent, Jorge Mendes, has also told Italy's Radio Mana Mana that there is an "80%" chance external-linkthe Portuguese will return to Chelsea.

Mourinho, who is contracted until 2016 at the Bernabeu, remains Chelsea's most successful manager with two Premier League titles and three domestic cup wins during his spell at the London club.

Before Real's 4-3 win against Real Valladolid on Saturday, Mourinho was whistled at by some Real fans keen to show their support for out-of-favour goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas.

Benitez, who has been linked with German side Schalke, external-linkwould not be drawn on his own future when facing the media on Tuesday.

Instead, he preferred to focus on Wednesday's Premier League match against fellow Champions League hopefuls Spurs.

"My future is Tottenham, after we will see," said the 53-year-old former Valencia and Inter Milan manager. "At the moment, I'm just thinking about Tottenham and what we could do.

"I have to keep doing my job, that is trying to prepare the team properly for every game, and the agents, they have to do their jobs."

Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November, has guided Chelsea to the Europa League final but has said that securing Champions League football is his priority.


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