Rafael Benitez set to be appointed new Chelsea manager

Rafael Benitez is set to be appointed the next Chelsea manager in time to take charge of the club’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday.

The former Liverpool boss is expected to be handed a short-term contract by the European champions and confirmed as Di Matteo’s replacement within the next 48 hours.

Chelsea have turned to Benitez after Pep Guardiola indicated that he wants to continue his sabbatical from football and not return to management before next summer.

Despite reports that there has been no contact between the European champions and Benitez, it is understood that a deal is being brokered for the Spaniard to be installed at Stamford Bridge imminently.

Discussions are centering on the length of the contract and the personal terms. Sources informed that Benitez is willing to take the job until the end of the season and he is not expected to be given a long-term deal.

Chelsea expect that the 52-year-old will be in the dugout for Sunday afternoon’s Premier League match at home to Manchester City.