By Tom J Doyle
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez says he is ignoring what Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has to say about a potential return to the Premier League, and is simply focused on doing the best possible job until the end of the season.
The former Liverpool manager’s current contract runs only until the end of this season, and after Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich missed out on Bayern-bound Pep Guardiola, “the Special One” could make a shock comeback to the club with whom he won Premier League titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
And despite Mourinho suggesting that Benitez is under pressure, the Spaniard says he “cannot change the opinion of some people”, and just wants to be as successful at Stamford Bridge as he can be in order to earn the full-time position.
“Not me. Why [the pressure] on me? I finish my contract in June,” he told reporters. “I am concentrating on my job, and I finish my contract at the end of the season. I will try and do my best. That’s my job.
“I cannot change the opinion of some people. But what I can say is the team is growing, getting better for this year and also for the future.
“I was asked in Spain about Real Madrid, but I didn’t talk about them. I will worry about myself. It’s out of respect, yes, because Real have a manager under contract.”
Chelsea travel to champions Manchester City on Sunday afternoon looking to tighten their grip on third place, and can close to within one point of Roberto Mancini’s second-placed side if they win at the Etihad Stadium.
Los Blancos meanwhile are struggling in La Liga and trail rivals Barcelona by 16 points, and also face a tricky Champions League tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford after drawing the first leg 1-1 at the Bernabeu.