Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would like Rafa Benitez to remain in charge next season. The Telegraph says the Russian billionaire would ideally prefer to retain Benítez and Chelsea have even gone so far as to discreetly sound out key players and their representatives to gauge how they would react should the interim manager remain next season.

Benítez is admired by Abramovich, who is largely happy with the work the former Liverpool manager has done at the club since he succeeded the sacked Roberto Di Matteo last November.

The majority of the players would also accept Benítez, but his appointment would appear impossible given the hostility towards him from the stands.