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Chelsea deny reports linking Grant return

Newspaper reports suggested the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich was second guessing his decision to bring in Spaniard Benitez after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in late November.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez's first three games in charge have failed to yield A victory and Grant, who fell agonisingly close to winning the Champions League in 2008 when Chelsea lost to Manchester United on penalties, was linked as a possible consultant to help the Spaniard manage the squad.

"There is no truth in reports that Avram Grant will be returning to the club," a Chelsea spokeman said on Monday.

Israeli Grant replaced Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in 2007 and spent 54 games in charge, winning 36 of those until his was dismissed in May 2008.

Chelsea have gone seven Premier League games without a win after losing 3-1 to West Ham United on Saturday. The Londoners sit in third place, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United after 15 games.