Chelsea striker Demba Ba has revealed that speculation linking former manager Jose Mourinho with a return to the club has got the players in the squad talking.
Interim manager Rafa Benitez will leave the club at the end of the season, and playfully hinted that his Portuguese counterpart - currently in charge at Real Madrid - would be coming back to Stamford Bridge by telling reporters on Tuesday: "The next year there will be another manager. I think everybody knows who will be here."
Several key players of the Mourinho era - including John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech - remain at the club, with club captain Terry admitting that he and others remain in contact with the coach.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's crucial Premier League clash with Tottenham, Ba admitted that talk of the man who won back-to-back titles at Stamford Bridge during his previous spell in charge is making waves in the Blues camp.
"The players at Chelsea are all talking about the situation and telling stories about when Jose was at the club before," Ba is quoted as saying in The Sun.
"They are fans of his and love him as a person and as a coach. He is still greatly appreciated here." Chelsea can all-but secure a top-four place with a victory over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.