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.
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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: