- Premier League
Benitez hints at Abramovich tension
Rafa Benitez has admitted he has not spoken to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in over 20 days, as uncertainty over his future at the club remains.
With the Blues winless in their last five games and speculation growing, the Spanish manager could not say whether he had been given guarantees that he will maintain his post at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season regardless of results.
Indeed, Benitez revealed that the last time he spoke to Abramovich was after his last win against Arsenal.
"It was after the Arsenal game, 20 days ago," he said. "We were doing really well and he was really happy. Since then I've had conversations with people close to him, not directly. Do you know what he thinks? If you don't know, you can't say this or that will happen. Nobody knows.
"We have been talking with the people here. I was talking with him. We were talking about football. In terms of football everything is fine. We want to win. Then you put names in the press, 200 names. It doesn't matter. My contract is until the end of the season. No one is talking to the owner. The people in charge are talking to me about football."
When asked whether he was certain if he will be at Stamford Bridge come May, Benitez insisted he "couldn't give an answer".
"I'm sure I was training for my players and preparing for this game. I cannot give you an answer," he said. "Why? I have to concentrate on the next game. I have a contract until the end of the season and we can be talking and talking, but all I can do is win games."
Benitez also denied that all the uncertainty is affecting the team, despite the fact Chelsea have squandered a series of 2-0 wins recently.
"My job is exactly the same. After winning, you can have better comments in the media in general, but that's part of football," Benitez added. "I've been in football for 26 years as a manager, and all my life as a player too. If you win, it's fine. If not, people start talking. But we analyse games, watch videos, have meetings with the staff and we try and improve."