Chelsea latest: Including Benitez backing and Capoue

Benitez Tour 2

A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.

Ahead of the match with Stoke this weekend Tony Pulis has backed Rafa Benitez to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around if given time. There was persistent booing as Chelsea lost 2-0 to Swansea in the Capital One Cup last night, but Pulis believes Benitez’s record shows his quality:

"He has proved before at football clubs that he can manage at the highest level.

"Given the chance, who is to say he couldn't do it at Chelsea?

"But he needs the opportunity, and that does not mean weeks or months - you have got to give people time."

The loss last night means Benitez has the worst record of any Chelsea manager under Abramovich after 14 games.

Responding to the loss last night Gary Cahill has said that Chelsea need to show the resolve they did in last year’s Champions League to turn the deficit around in the second leg at Swansea. The centre back also said he was mystified as to why his club was struggling at home. Chelsea have won only two of their last seven games at Stamford Bridge.

Fernando Torres was once again poor in the match last night, and on HITC today Dan Coombs suggests it must now be time for Chelsea to cut their losses and sell the Spanish striker.

Maourane Fellaini’s release clause might be more than the £22 million reported earlier this week, but Chelsea are still preparing to bid for the Belgian as a replacement for Frank Lampard. More than £25 million might be required to bring Fellaini to Stamford Bridge from Everton this summer.

One place Lampard might be heading off to is Fiorentina, with their president Mario Cognigni saying he would love to sign the England midfielder. Current Fiorentina player Borja Valero also said that Lampard would be an excellent signing for his club. Chelsea fans looking to reminisce about Lampard's best days at the club should check out Jenny Leigh’s run down of his top five goals.

Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly both interested in signing Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue. Toulouse are believed to want £12 million for the 24 year old, who made his debut for the French national team in August of last year.

Another defensive midfielder Chelsea are interested in is 20 year old Gianelli Imbula, who plays for Ligue 2 side Guingamp and has been compared to Patrick Vieira. If they want someone more familiar with the Premier League, Chelsea could consider bidding for Alex Song, who has been a bit part figure at Barcelona since leaving Arsenal in the summer.

Chelsea could be set to miss out on reported target Alvaro Negredo, with the Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido rumoured to be in London concluding a deal with Spurs for the striker.

image: © hoonming/

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch