Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich did move for former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez before deciding on Roberto di Matteo as a stop-gap after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.

The Telegraph says Abramovich only wanted a short-term solution while the former Liverpool manager angled after a longer-term contract.

Benítez is also deeply unpopular with Chelsea fans and although Abramovich has attracted to the Spaniard's disciplined approach, and hoped he could also get the best out of Fernando Torres, he decided against holding formal talks.

It is understood that the Chelsea owner also considered approaching Gianfranco Zola, who remains out of work after being fired by West Ham United two years ago, and there was a discussion between his advisers as to whether he could provide the short-term boost that was needed.

Chelsea also thought of former Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanches Flores.