Venkys-owned Rovers eyeing Benitez as next manager

London: Championship club Blackburn Rovers, which is owned by Indian poultry firm Venkys, is looking to hire Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez as club`s next manager after unceremoniously sacking incumbent Michael Appleton.

Appleton found out he was sacked as Blackburn manager by watching TV before being handed a letter by a club receptionist.

Appleton`s shock axing, after just 67 days in charge, came in a typically shambolic way at a club, which has specialized in that department recently when global advisor Shebby Singh arrived at the training ground to leave the note.

Former TV pundit Singh did not pick Appleton, who was hired away from Championship rivals Blackpool, as manager, and he now wants Rovers to go for a big-name manager paying the right man around 50,000 pound-a-week with Benitez as a dream candidate.

Blackburn`s owners, Venkys, who have upset fans and seen one protest after another since they took over the club, are now listening to the controversial Malaysian again after he was ignored in the appointment of Appleton.

Venkys will bankroll a bid for a top boss to get them to the riches of the Premier League, and Singh will sound out names such as long-term target Tim Sherwood at Tottenham, and former England bosses Steve McClaren and Sven Goran Eriksson, but according to reports his ideal target is Benitez, if he becomes available in the summer after his interim spell at Chelsea.

Rovers` Indian-based rulers have the money to chase a top manager and know they will have to pay way over the top but it makes sense if they get promoted.