Date: 7th February 2013 at 2:00pm
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manuelpellegrinijosemourinho_576x324Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has been named as a surprise candidate to succeed Rafael Benitez as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Benitez has little chance of being offered a long-term deal to stay at the helm and may not make it to the end of the season at this rate, so the club will have to work hard to pick the right man for the job following 18 months of dreadful decision making.

Aside from Guillem Balague (the Spanish Ian McGarry) the majority of the media believe that Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho’s representatives have already been contact in relation to a sensational return to Stamford Bridge and he is reportedly interested, but this doesn’t mean that he won’t opt for a Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City instead.

According to Spanish news site Punto Pelota, Pellegrini’s name has made Abramovich’s managerial shortlist and could be called upon should the Portuguese manager reject the chance to return to West London.

Pellegrini was Mourinho’s predecessor at the Santiago Bernabeu and despite achieving what was a record 96 points for the club in La Liga during the 2009/10 season, it wasn’t enough to prevent Barcelona from claiming the crown with their 99 total and the only reason that he was dismissed from the post was because Mourinho had made himself available.

Since then has has dealt admirably with Malaga’s well publicised financial difficulties and despite losing key players such as Santi Cazorla and Rondon he has guided his side into the knock-out stages of the Champions League. They remain unbeaten in their debut campaign in UEFA’s flagship cup competition and will face Porto in the next stage. Malaga are currently 4th in the La Liga table, seven points behind Real Madrid.

But despite his qualities, is the 59-year-old a realistic option to succeed Benitez at Chelsea? And who is the best option for Chelsea – Jose, Guus, Moyes, Klopp, Conte, Pellegrini etc?

Source: talkSPORT