Rafa Benitez reveals his thoughts on Newcastle United and a potential return to the Premier League amid Arsenal and Everton links

Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has revealed his thoughts on Steve Bruce's start to life at St James’s Park.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 1:30 pm

And the former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli manager has addressed a potential Premier League return amid links to Arsenal, Everton and West Ham United.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Spaniard, replaced by Bruce in the summer, admits he is delighted to see his former charges producing the goods.

“I’m really pleased Newcastle are doing well, and I’m really pleased for Steve Bruce - he’s doing a great job,” said Benitez, now boss of Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang.

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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United applauds the crowd after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 04, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“That’s what I expected. We wanted to try and get into the top 10 but that wasn’t the idea and it’s fine. Hopefully they’ll continue to do well.”

On the subject of returning to England, Benitez has made no secret of his desire to be a Premier League manager again.

And again, when pressed by former player Jamie Carragher on the subject, Benitez insists the door remains open – but, as ever, he is no rush to break a contract.

He said: “Obviously, in the future I would like to come back to the Premier League because I like the league. But at the moment, I can be very clear – no chance I will come back now because I am really happy, really pleased, that they trust me.

“We have a lot of staff working in a big, big project. People will say the league is different. Yes, it is different, another level, but Wanda, that is behind the team, is a massive company and they want to change everything.

“We are in charge of the kids until the first team. We want to leave a legacy and it is a challenge for me.

“I am learning a lot, it is a great experience and quite happy at the moment.”

Asked the question if Arsenal or Everton approaches could change his mind, Benitez said: “At the moment it is a no.”

Last week a Daily Mail ‘exclusive’ claimed Premier League clubs wishing to take Benitez Dalian Yifang would have to pay a world-record buyout for a manager, thought to be in excess of £20million.