Chelsea manager emerges a shock target for Championship strugglers

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Rafael Benitez could be offered the opportunity to take charge at Blackburn Rovers when his spell as interim Chelsea coach comes to an end in the summer, as the Championship strugglers begin their search for a new manager.

Blackburn sacked Michael Appleton, their third manager of the season, on Tuesday after only 67 days in charge at Ewood Park, and the former Blackpool boss will be replaced by Gareth Bowyer for the remainder of the campaign.

According to The Mirror, Blackburn have identified Benitez as an ideal appointment and are prepared to pay a high-profile manager around £50,000-a-week to take charge of the club in time for next term.

Benitez was drafted in by Chelsea on a temporary basis following the departure of Roberto di Matteo last November, and confirmed during a recent rant that his stay at Stamford Bridge would not be extended beyond the terms of his current deal.

The 52-year-old has failed to win over the Chelsea fans during his stint in west London, and now looks set to be offered the chance to take the reins in Blackburn, although the Spaniard would surely not consider a switch to Ewood Park.

Blackburn are in danger of dropping out of the Championship just a year after their Premier League relegation, and trigger happy owners Venky's have transformed the club into chaos since they acquired Rovers in 2010.

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