Rafa Benitez hasn’t ruled out returning to Liverpool in the future.
The club won four trophies, including the Champions League in 2005, during his six years at the club.
Benitez – whose family still live on Merseyside – has managed in Spain and Italy since leaving the club in 2010.
Asked if he had ever been close to returning to Anfield, Newcastle United’s manager said: “It’s quite difficult, because I have been in Italy, or Madrid, or moving around.
“It hasn’t come at the right time. If they have problems and you are unavailable, sometimes you are available and they are doing well.
“I didn’t have too many chances to go back. It’s football, so you never know.
I didn’t have too many chances to go back (to Liverpool). It’s football, so you never know. I’m getting older, but for a manager, I’m still a young manager, so we’ll see what happens.Rafa Benitez
“I’m getting older, but for a manager, I’m still a young manager, so we’ll see what happens.”
Asked if he could see himself returning to the club, Benitez added: “I don’t want to say that.
“They were asking me in Spain when they were talking about the national team one day.
“I said ‘oh yeah’. It seems like you are pushing for it one day, but that is not the case.”
Liverpool visit St James’s Park on Sunday.
And Benitez admits it will be a “special game” for him given his long association with the club.
“It’s a special game for me, and emotional – so many years and good memories,” said the 57-year-old.
“My family still lives in Liverpool, so it’s home, and I have a lot of positive relationships with the fans, but at the same time we’ll try our best to win.
“I have to concentrate on trying to win the game.”