• Premier League

Capello denies rumours of Chelsea arrival

ESPN staff
March 4, 2013
Fabio Capello has denied he is set to join Chelsea © PA Photos

Russia boss Fabio Capello has denied that he has been offered the opportunity to take over as the next manager of Chelsea.

The odds on former England boss Capello stepping into the breach at Stamford Bridge have been tumbling over the last couple of days, amid rumours that Chelsea officials have made initial contact with the Italian's representatives as they look to bring an end to Rafael Benitez's unpopular reign as Blues boss.

Reports have suggested that Capello's reputation for being a no-nonsense manager has led Chelsea officials to conclude he would be the ideal candidate to take on a dressing room that has proved to be a challenging mix for a succession of managers.

However, Capello has insisted his focus is trained on Russia's 2014 World Cup qualifying push.

"I am only thinking about reaching the World Cup with Russia," stated the 66-year-old tactician in an Italian radio interview. "At the moment, I am not thinking about anything else.

"I have received no offer."

Capello was heavily linked with the Chelsea post during and after his spell as England boss, with his decision to resign the highly paid position with the Football Association in February last year over his support for Blues skipper John Terry winning him plenty of support at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho remains the bookies' favourite to return to Chelsea this summer, with Capello now installed as second favourite with many bookmakers and Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini, Everton's David Moyes and Brighton boss Gus Poyet also believed to be leading contenders.

Gianfranco Zola's name continues to be linked with the Chelsea post as Blues owner Roman Abramovich is known to be a huge admirer of the little Italian who starred for the club between 1996 and 2003, but the man currently in charge at Watford is still considered to be an outsider to land the Stamford Bridge job.

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