Benitez delivers end-of-season ultimatum to Ashley

Benitez delivers end-of-season ultimatum to Ashley

Conte insisted that his side can not overcome Manchester United in the final of their FA Cup clash at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 19, if they repeat their shambolic display in their last EPL game. While Rafael Benitez wasn't able to save the Magpies from relegation after joining them mid-season in 2016, he has brought stability back to Tyneside with a first-place finish in the Championship and 10th place in the Premier League this season. "Blues owner Roman Abramovich and the club's supporters might have to adapt to a couple of quieter years, but in the long term it might be another route to success - and it would be far more cost-effective." added ex-Fulham and Tottenham midfielder.

You're right, this is stating the obvious just a touch, but this has been a legitimate concern of Chelsea fans in recent weeks.

The 58-year-old hopes to remain at the club next season, and said his squad would need reinforcements, especially with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, striker Islam Slimani and winger Kenedy all set to return to their parent clubs when their loan deals expire. They showed a great desire and will to take three points and finish the season in the best possible way. But I'm the first person to answer for this.

"I am repeating always the same thing; I am committed to this club", he said.

The result and performance ensured a top half finish for the home side and the only worry is whether Mike Ashley will drive Rafa Benitez out.

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Chelsea's attempts to keep Eden Hazard on side have infiltrated the club's search for a new manager, with Maurizio Sarri and Luis Enrique instated as the front-runners to replace Antonio Conte as the Blues look to convince the midfielder to stay with an attacking brand of football.

Asked what damage that will do to last season's title winners he replied: "I think I'm the last person to speak about this".

When questioned about his future at St James' Park, Benitez responded: "I will say that I am really pleased today and I will try to enjoy then see how the conversations go!". There are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League.

"We lost the game and I think we deserved this defeat".

And despite the FA Cup final against Manchester United to look forward to on Saturday, Conte must surely already be planning for life after Stamford Bridge...and a big payout. "Now, probably, you can finish fifth and start with a bit of an advantage compared to when you finish 10th".