FAN-power appears to have persuaded Chelsea not to pick Rafa Benitez as the permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas .
Chelsea supporters attending last night's FA Cup replay at St Andrews were clear that they did not want the former Liverpool man.
Thousands chanted 'Benitez – you're not wanted here', and a banner was unfurled bearing the words 'Rafa not wanted – Special One needed'.
Chelsea have a policy of not commenting on player or manager targets. However it is understood that chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Ron Gourlay, both of whom were present at St Andrews, got the message loud and clear – and that there will be no move to recruit the Spaniard.
Benitez was raised as a potential target by many commentators, but it is believed Chelsea were never interested in him as a long-term target.
The coach has not worked since his dismissal by Liverpool in 2010. His failure to mount any convincing challenge on the Premier League, coupled with the enduring poor form of Liverpool during his final year at the club, are seen as the main reasons for Chelsea's lack of interest.