Rangers sign new Puma kit deal

Brighton boss Gus Poyet admits he is happy to be linked to the

job of Chelsea manager.

The 45-year-old Uruguayan, who played for Chelsea from June 1997

to June 2001 and made more than 100 appearances for the club, is

around a 7/1 chance to succeed Rafael Benitez when the interim boss

departs Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Poyet, who has guided Brighton into the play-off places in the

Championship this term, said: “I want to go to the highest level

and if it’s the Premier League and it’s Chelsea, fantastic.

“That’s my aim. Everybody knows. I don’t hide it.

“I like the speculation because it means we are doing something

right. But it doesn’t change my life at the moment.”

Benitez has hogged Thursday’s headlines following his rant

criticising Blues supporters and the club’s decision to give him

the title of interim manager.

The Blues boss launched an impassioned monologue following the

holders’ 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, which set up a

quarter-final tie with Manchester United, and the criticism sparked

suggestions his tenure in caretaker charge could come to an end as

soon as Thursday.

The comments are unlikely to have gone down well with Abramovich

and the Blues board, but Chelsea insisted it was “business as

usual” at their Surrey training base, where Benitez took

training.

The Spaniard, who has confirmed he will leave Chelsea at the end

of season, is expected to be given at least one more match in

charge when West Brom visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday and will

hold the pre-match media conference as scheduled on Friday

afternoon.

“My relationship with the owner is really good,” Benitez told

BBC’s Football Focus. “Every time I talk to Abramovich about

football, I enjoy (it).

“I know that he wants to win. I’m here because he wants to win

and I will try to do my best until the last day.

“The relationship is fine. I don’t have any problem with

anyone.

“I have conversations with Michael Emenalo, the technical

director, every single day. He watches the training sessions, we

talk about football and when I meet Roman Abramovich, we talk about

football.

“We talk like normal people. We share a passion for

football.”

Reports of dressing room unrest, including a dispute with

captain John Terry, have been played down and Benitez is adamant

there are no major concerns.

“My relationship with the staff, the people at Cobham, is really

good, fantastic,” Benitez added. “The players are fully behind our

ideas, 100%.”

The club announced that director of football Collins had quit

after the board sacked Evans, who replaced John Hughes as manager

in November when the former Hibernian boss left for Hartlepool.

The pair leave Livingston fourth in the Irn-Bru First

Division.

A club statement read: “Livingston Football Club announces the

departure of first team manager Gareth Evans following a managers’

meeting today, where we voiced our concern over the stewardship of

the club under Gareth. This despite the results being generally

acceptable.

“John Collins, having appointed Gareth to the post despite

certain reservations, has regrettably decided to tender his

resignation following our decision to relieve Gareth of his

duties.

“First team affairs ahead of this Saturday’s home fixture

against Airdrie United will be handled by current Head of Youth

Development, Richie Burke whilst the board consider matters going

forward.

“No further comment in relation to this development will be made

at this time.”

The brand will become the official supplier and licensee of

replica merchandise for the club, with the agreement set to start

next season.

Rangers chief executive Green said: “Rangers and Puma are

massive global brands and this relationship will undoubtedly

improve the distribution of club merchandise in the UK and

overseas.

“Puma are renowned for their technical innovation and expertise

in product design and support systems and we look forward to

enjoying a productive and successful partnership over the next five

years.”