Rafa Benitez backed to return to England ahead of takeover

Rafa Benitez has been backed to return to English football.

Benitez has been linked with a number of Premier League jobs since moving to China year year to take charge of Dalian Yifang following the expiry of his Newcastle United contract.

A vacancy has come up in the Championship at basement club Derby County following the departure of Phillip Cocu – and Benitez’s odds have tumbled in recent days.

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Derby are set to be taken over by one-time United suitor Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, and bookmakers have slashed the odds on Benitez succeeding Cocu from 25/1 to 4/1. Captain Wayne Rooney, however, remains the favourite after taking temporary charge following Cocu’s exit.

Rafa Benitez.Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez – who guided Newcastle to the Championship title in the 2016/17 season – spoke about the possibility of a return to England last December. He said said: “In the future, I’d like to come back to the Premier League, but there's no chance that I’d come back right now.”