Jose Mourinho was the bookies favourite to return to Stamford Bridge in the close season but it appears the Blues have no intention of bringing the Real Madrid boss back to London.
Instead Roman Abramovich has set his sights on Conte who has masterminded a significant revival in Turin as the Old Lady were unbeaten for the whole of last season and are currently five points clear in Serie A.
Chelsea have already been rejected by both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp in the past few months and have now put Conte at the top of their wish list with Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini and Everton manager David Moyes also in their thoughts.
Benitez is struggling to keep his job at Stamford Bridge until the summer after a poor run that has seen the Blues give up on the Premier League title and struggle to overcome lesser opposition in both the Europa League and FA Cup.
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