Speaking to Sky Sports, Rafael Benitez has dropped a hint on possibly returning to the Premier League, coming after reports of interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
The Lowdown: Benitez on the shortlist
The Spaniard has emerged as a recent shortlisted candidate for the Spurs job according to reports, with the Daily Mail claiming he is among the managers being considered alongside the likes of Nuno Espirito Santo, Brendan Rodgers and former Juventus coach Max Allegri.
Last week, the Mail also said that Benitez would fancy taking the role at Spurs alongside fellow linked target Ralf Rangnick as the list of managerial candidates remains long.
However, the report states both men hardly fit into technical performance director Steve Hitchen’s criteria of a ‘young’ and ‘dynamic’ coach.
The Latest: Benitez drops hint on Premier League return
After the emerged interest, Benitez has now dropped a hint on his future in an interview on Sky Sports News show ‘Inside Football’ – openly admitting his ‘priority’ is the Premier League.
“I moved to China because there were no top sides here, so I needed to keep competing and doing my job,” explained the 61-year-old.
“But at the moment I’m quite keen to stay in England, in Liverpool. I’m watching every Premier League game and sometimes Championship games so that I’m always ready.
“The priority is England, the Premier League, my family is here and I like the style of football here. I will try to be ready here.”
The Verdict: Benitez, the mixed bag
His CV in terms of silverware is glowing, similar to fellow target Massimiliano Allegri, with the former Newcastle United boss having both a Champions League and Europa League winners medal on his mantle.
He also won La Liga twice with Valencia in both 2002 and 2004 – with Benitez having no shortage of major honours to his name.
However, Spurs reportedly want a manager who promotes open, attacking football the Lilywhites way (The Guardian) and it is debatable whether Benitez fits the criteria.
Out of work and a possible cheaper appointment than someone who would require a buyout, deciding on a formal approach for Benitez could be a real dilemma for chairman Daniel Levy.
The choice could ultimately come down to either sticking with Spurs’ principles or opting for the experienced big name – perhaps akin to Jose Mourinho.
In other news: Spurs now keen to sell 66-cap ace, find out more here.
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