Roman Abramovich had been chasing Pep Guardiola for over a year, and in the end his pursuit was all but a mere, desperate dream. Pep Guardiola was never going to join Chelsea, but it is what Abramovich does next which will decide his current status among the millions of Chelsea fans.
Abramovich can do one of three things. He can sit down, think and realise that if he is to be an owner of a consistent, successful and happy club then he needs stability. This snubbing of Pep Guardiola should be a wake-up call and make Abramovich realise that he will never again attract a top manager with his recent actions. Abramovich could look at current interim manager Rafael Benitez, and with the help of the Spaniard, build a legacy at Chelsea.
At the age of 52, Benitez is relatively young in managerial years and has a wealth of experience. A Champions League and La Liga winner, Benitez may not be the most welcomed man in Stamford Bridge, but realistically, he is the best Chelsea can get right now.
Abramovich should give Rafael Benitez the permanent job at the end of the season, something that all Chelsea players would no doubt approve of. They know themselves that stability is key to success, and if Rafael Benitez can steady the ship and lead this very capable squad to success, the Chelsea faithful would eventually warm to him. After all, he is a very capable manager.
Or, Abramovich can carry on doing what he has done so far in his near ten year tenure at Chelsea Football Club. The Russian oligarch could sack Rafael Benitez at the end of the season, and try send out a massive statement to the footballing world by replacing him with the latest up and coming manager in world football. Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp would no doubt top that list, but again, would he really be attracted to Chelsea? Could Chelsea afford another rejection?
The next manager at Chelsea Football Club will know they were not the number one target. The public approach Abramovich took to appointing Guardiola has majorly back-fired on him, and it will take an incredible amount of work from his chairman to persuade who ever comes in they are wanted at the club.
However, there is one man that Chelsea would not need to persuade that he is cherished by the club and fans. Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has made it no secret that he seeks a return to the Premier League. The Portuguese manager guided Chelsea to successive Premier League trophies, but was soon after fired by Abramovich. Mourinho claims he still has a healthy relationship with Abramovich, could he return to Stamford Bridge?
Pep Guardiola has sent a message to every manager in world football that no money is worth working for the Russian. If Rafa Benitez was to join the ever-growing list of managers dealt the cold, pitiless hand of the Russian billionaire, would that lay testament to Pep's decision to snub Abramovich?
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