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No more tuxedos for Toon

The Toe Poke

Ranieri for manager of the year?


Grant set for Chelsea role - reports

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to bring Avram Grant back into the Stamford Bridge set-up, according to reports in several of Monday's newspapers.

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Grant was sacked as Blues manager despite coming within one penalty kick of lifting the Champions League back in 2008, but it is believed that he has maintained a relationship with Abramovich in the last few years and he may now be recalled by the Russian as his attempts to revive his faltering team continue to flounder.

Abramovich is widely believed to be keen to appoint Pep Guardiola, who is currently on a sabbatical in New York, at the end of the season and it is felt that Grant could provide guidance - either as a consultant or as caretaker manager - until the summer if required.

Benitez is proving an unpopular choice of interim boss with Chelsea fans, who have seen their team take two points from a possible nine under his stewardship. The Blues are now level on points with fifth-placed West Brom and it is reported that Abramovich may act to save his club falling outside the Champions League spots.

Meanwhile, Benitez admits he was angry in the aftermath of his side's 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Saturday, but he is convinced the good times will begin to roll once again at Chelsea sooner rather than later.

"Things will change," Benitez said. "I was angry at the end. I think the players were angry, too. They know this is not the ideal situation and that, if I am here, it is because something was wrong and that they are not at the level everyone expects.

"I knew this job would be a challenge, but I'm sure the team is good enough to win things and, if we win matches, everyone will be happier."

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