Rafa Benitez: It's nice to be linked with Real Madrid

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Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez admits it's flattering to be linked with the Real Madrid job, but insists he's fully focused on his current role at Stamford Bridge.

In an interview with Spanish daily newspaper Marca, the 52-year-old played down speculation he and current Los Blancos boss Jose Mourinho are set to swap positions at the end of the season, with the Portuguese tactician heavily linked with a return to west London.

Benitez knows that he is unlikely to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer, but did not want to talk specifically about the Santiago Bernabeu hot-seat, while there is another manager in charge.

"Jose Mourinho is the Real Madrid coach. I have a rule that I don't talk about the coaches of other teams. I'm concentrating on my own and that is enough for me," he said.

"It's clear that I know a lot about the club, as I was there from the age of 13 as a player and then a coach. It's nice to be linked in one way or other, but it doesn't make me lose my focus on the present, which is Chelsea."

After replacing Roberto di Matteo at the helm back in November, Benitez has endured a turbulent relationship with Chelsea fans, still bitter about Roman Abramovich's treatment of a club legend that orchestrated the Blues' first ever Champions League triumph in Munich last May.

That is no reflection on Benitez, though, with the former Liverpool boss steering the Premier League club towards a domestic and European cup double, with the FA Cup and Europa League still up for grabs this season.

Asked about where he sees his future, Benitez added: "My idea is to coach a competitive team and, why not in England? We need to wait and see."


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