Rafa Benitez has been told he is only keeping the managerial hot seat at Chelsea warm for Jose Mourinho, according to Ruud Gullit.
The Dutchman, a former boss at Stamford Bridge, has revealed the current incumbent was told when he took over from Roberto Di Matteo that a top four finish was the very least he had to deliver.
The Spaniard's tenure at Chelsea has been blighted by constant fan protests, despite Benitez guiding them to within sight of second place in the Premier League and into the latter stages of the Europa League.
Keeping the seat warm: Benitez, training today, is to be replaced by Jose Mourinho, according to Ruud Gullit
Fighting fit: Chelsea were preparing today for Sunday's trip to champions Manchester City
But Gullit is convinced that regardless of Benitez's achievements, he will be replaced by Real Madrid boss Mourinho, who left Chelsea in 2007 after ending their 50-year wait for a domestic title.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: 'Rafa Benitez's main objective this season is to qualify for the Champions League and then to make way for Jose Mourinho.
'I have a feeling that he was meant to come back after the Champions League final but then when Chelsea won it I think he thought better of it. It’s no coincidence that right after the final he signed a new contract with Real Madrid.'
Waiting in the shadows: Ex-Chelsea boss Gullit believes Mourinho will return to Stamford Bridge in the summer
Benitez, though, is still worried about those chasing Chelsea down in pursuit of a top four place.
With Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham also having designs on qualifying for the Champions League next season, the race for the top four is likely to be a long one.
'The race for the top four will go on until the end of the season,' he said. 'Our last game is against Everton so I'm sure that, until the end of the season, we will be winning games or losing games or whatever but it will be very tight, very close.
'I think that one game can make a big difference so until the end it will be difficult for everyone.'
Benitez also believes Sunday's meeting with Manchester City can be a guide to his side's targets for the season.
Tough task: Benitez believes Sunday's clash at the Etihad is crucial to his side's rest of the season
'We have a lot of respect because City is a great team,' Benitez said. 'But we have to go there with confidence and if we are close I think that we can fight for being in the top two, and if not we have to fight for being in the top four.
'The priority is to win; if we win this game we will be closer but if we cannot we have to keep fighting.
'What I can see now is a team with confidence, we are confident we can beat City or anyone if we do things in the right way. We are creating chances in every game so I'm confident we can do it.'