The claims were made by Italian publication TuttoSport, who said Benitez’s arrival at Stamford Bridge was “imminent”.
The claims are tenuous, at best, and the likelihood of the Spaniard returning to Chelsea for a second spell are very slim.
Toon fans have not given up hope that an announcement of a contract extension will be forthcoming, and will be devastated if he were to leave.
Loved on Tyneside, derided in Chelsea
While Rafa is lauded by the whole Newcastle fan-base, where he is afforded hero-like status, that adulation is not reciprocated by their counterparts 300 miles down the road.
Despite winning the Europa League during his temporary spell in 2013, following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, the Chelsea fans did not appreciate Rafa’s playing style, with him not being a popular figure among them, as a result.
Bizarrely, any move to take him back to Stamford Bridge would be met with despair and dismay by both Newcastle and Chelsea fans alike.
As you can imagine, the Chelsea Twitter feeds have lit up at the claims, and the response has been overwhelmingly one-sided.
Here are a few of their reactions:
Rafa Benitez to Chelsea? What the actual? We crossed that line once. Not again.
— Hamish Hoosen of the Pillays (@Hamish_Hoosen) June 11, 2019
No point of sacking Sarri to bring Rafa. Chelsea fan already hates him
— ❣️!ᗩꊼ 🌻 (@iSpark_83) June 11, 2019
Reece James out injured for a long time & now we’re being linked to Rafa Benitez. Being a Chelsea fan right now absolutely sucks #CFC
— Khai 🌚 (@KhaiHazard) June 11, 2019
Haha, the only manager worse than Sarri for Sarri Out fans is is Rafa, could you imagine.
— ً (@ChelseaCentral_) June 11, 2019
Rafa Benitez coming back to Chelsea? Please let it just be rumours! 🙈🙈🙈 pic.twitter.com/FAHiUX76Gi
— Chris Wright 🏴 (@chriswrightzz) June 11, 2019
My cousins aunties mums brothers dog who knows a cat who lives with a bloke called Mike who knows a lady who met a postman once who delivered a letter to Rafa Benitez has it on good authority that he’s coming back to Chelsea… you get my point. Anyone can start a rumour! #cfc
— Luke Winter (@luca__2010) June 11, 2019
How can Chelsea fans relax, best players leaving we can’t replace or invest in our team the manager potentially leaving. Our best youngsters are injured. Rafa is the least of our worries…. but yea relax Chelsea fans 😫🥺 #cfc #shambles #chelseafc
— Roman (@CHeLSKIII_94) June 11, 2019
What if Guus Hiddink and Rafa Benitez were really the permanent Chelsea managers and everyone else was just a caretaker… https://t.co/T1udP0yZr9
— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) June 11, 2019
Chelsea will definitely not prosper under Rafa.
— Drow (@Zawarshaah) June 11, 2019