Chelsea: Benitez happy with interim boss status


Rafael Benitez says he would happily hand over the job of managing Chelsea to Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, but he wants to win some silverware until then. Benitez took over on an interim basis from Roberto Di Matteo who got sacked in November. The former Liverpool manager does want the post long-term, but reports claim the Blues are keen admirers of former Barcelona boss Guardiola.

"If he comes and we've won a lot of trophies, I'll be very pleased," Benitez said. "Guardiola has a fantastic record." After deciding to take some time out after winning his 14th trophy in four years as Barcelona coach in May 2012 , Guardiola has been linked with a number of clubs, including Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

"Everybody is talking about Guardiola - Guardiola this, Guardiola that - but Guardiola is just one man, he can go to just one club," said Benitez, ahead of Sunday's Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Corinthians. When asked how he would feel if Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich asked him to leave at the end of the season, the manager said: "When I decided to come, I knew I was signing a contract for six or seven months, so I was not thinking about more after these seven months."

Benitez had to endure a hostile reception since taking over at Stamford Bridge, but the 52-year-old manager still believes he can win over fans. "After the improvement of the team, the way I will play and the style I will have, I think a lot of fans will say: 'Maybe we were too hard and we have to give him the chance to bring the confidence back to the team and the fans'," he said.

Chelsea face Corinthians in the Club World Cup final, the first chance for Benitez to win a trophy with Chelsea. Here are the odds from Bet365:

Chelsea win - 8/11
Draw - 11/4
Corinthians win - 7/2


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