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Benitez hints Jose is Chelsea-bound

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has strongly hinted that Jose Mourinho will be making his much-anticipated return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

• Marcotti: Jose a failure?

Speculation over the Portuguese coach leaving Real Madrid to come back to the club where he won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 has intensified ever since Real's elimination from the Champions League semi-finals by Borussia Dortmund at the end of April.

Chelsea captain John Terry has said that he and other Blues players are still in regular contact with their former boss, while the man himself has remained enigmatic on the subject of his future.

Ahead of Wednesday's vital Premier League clash against Tottenham, Benitez reiterated that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season once his short-term contract expires, and playfully hinted that it would be Mourinho who will replace him.

"The next year there will be another manager,'' he said. "I think everybody knows who will be here."

When pressed on whether he was talking about Mourinho, Benitez simply replied: "I will concentrate on my job now."

Terry told Tuesday's Marca that Mourinho had never lost touch with his former Chelsea players during their six years apart.

"We keep in touch by text message, wishing each other luck," he said. "He always looks out for our results, and keeps interested in all that happens at the club. He also keeps in touch with Lampard and other players.

"It is important, and for me too, to show respect to Real Madrid because he has a contract there. For me personally it is difficult to go into this subject, but the fans have shown clearly that he is a man that they love, above all for what he won, and for pushing the club in a direction it had never gone in before. He is still the Special One."

Asked about Terry's comments, Benitez would only say: "My concern is if they [the players] are in contact with me. We talk every day and we talk about what we have to do."


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