London - Roman Abramovich has written off Chelsea’s chances of winning silverware this season and told interim manager Rafa Benitez to finish in the top four.

Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo met with Benitez at the club’s training ground on Tuesday morning and passed on the message from their billionaire benefactor.

Benitez, whose side infuriated Abramovich and various Chelsea executives with the manner of their 2-2 draw at Brentford in the FA Cup on Sunday, said: ‘All I can say is what I know. I have had meetings. We were talking about the situation and it’s clear for me the priority is the top four and progressing as much as we can in the other competitions.

‘In the last 10 days, we had a fantastic game against Arsenal, not such a good game against Swansea, and 50:50 the other day against Brentford.’

Benitez added: ‘We still have the FA Cup and the Europa League, and we can still finish in the top four.’

Chelsea, who face Reading in the Premier League tonight, started the campaign with the chance to win seven trophies.

Chelsea supporters started an online petition on Monday and already have more than 1 500 signatures demanding Benitez’s dismissal.