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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Zenden set to be named Benitez assistant

Kevin Palmer

Boudewijn Zenden will be appointed assistant to Rafael Benitez at Chelsea, the former Blues player's father has said.

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Pierre Zenden told Voetbal International his son had been approached by Benitez to join him at Stamford Bridge.

He said he was on his to London to be reunited with a coach for whom he played at Liverpool, adding: "He was approached on Wednesday by Benitez and is now on a flight.

"Since yesterday, he phoned Benitez many times. I assume that he will be on the pitch this afternoon, together with the manager. I assume he will finish the season, just like Benitez."

Zenden, who played 42 league games for Chelsea between 2001 and 2004, returns to Stamford Bridge with much to prove in what will be his first coaching appointment since he retired from playing last year.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Benitez's six-month contract at Chelsea has the option for a one-year extension that could be activated next summer.

There have also been reports that the club may retain his services even if he does not continue as first-team coach next season.

Chelsea officials are believed to be keen to appoint an "experienced football figure" in a sporting director role, and Benitez could fit that bill in a restructured hierarchy at Stamford Bridge.




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