Chelsea have begun talks with Rafa Benitez as the club want to appoint him as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement, according to reports.

Benitez’s current contract with Newcastle United is due to expire at the end of the month and an agreement over a new deal has not been reached.

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan has made a £350 million offer to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley and the Dubai-based billionaire is reportedly exploring alternative managers to Benitez, including former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are making plans to appoint a new manager as Maurizio Sarri closes in on a move to Juventus.