Rafa Benitez opens door to potential Newcastle United return

Rafa Benitez has kept the door ajar for a potential return to Newcastle United – but not until his job is done in China.

The popular Spaniard left St James's Park in the summer for Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang, having spent three and a half years on Tyneside.

It was a decision which angered fans with Benitez making it clear, in public at least, that his first choice was to remain at United.

And speaking to BBC, the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea boss has revealed he will return to England in the future, with his eyes on a job back in the Premier League.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"I follow all of the teams because you need to know the players and you need to know the league," said Benitez.

"In the future, so I am here, I am happy, and they are happy so hopefully we can do things well. But in the future I will come back to England, my family is there.

"But again I say, I am happy, it is not like I would like to go back right now. But in the future, yes. At the moment I am working hard here."

Benitez, who signed Salomon Rondon and has been linked with a move for Federico Fernandez, continued: "Obviously my idea in the future will be the Premier League. Then I want to stay close to my family. It is a league I like a lot.

"My memories. Why I decided to stay in Newcastle after relegation is because we beat Tottenham 5-1 in the last game with 10 players and the atmosphere was amazing.

"You could hear the fans, the staff, the players and the togetherness between everyone. That is what I was looking for.

"If in the future, people were talking about our first game here when we had 30,000 people. After two or three games we then had 55,000 people so I like to see the fans enjoying the game, the passion and the commitment of the players.

"This is what I had at Newcastle and hopefully in the future when I go back to the Premier League."