Rafa Benitez set for Premier League return as Newcastle United takeover saga drags on
Rafa Benitez is close to being appointed Everton manager – ending hopes of a return to Tyneside.
The former Newcastle United manager has reportedly been offered the post, which has been vacant since early this month when Carlo Ancelotti resigned to take charge at Real Madrid.
Benitez, out of work since leaving Chinese club Dalian Professional early this year, has been looking for a Premier League job.
The 61-year-old had been a strong contender to return to St James’s Park in the event of a proposed £300million takeover by a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund being revived through legal action. An arbitration hearing is set to start next month.
However, Benitez, keen to get back to work, is now Everton’s “No.1 choice”, according to Sky Sports News. Benitez, based on Merseyside, has previously been open to taking charge of the club, despite his previous affiliation with Liverpool, the club he guided to the Champions League title in 2005.
"In Spain, at the moment, it’s not possible to think about carrying out a project and trying to win something,” said Benitez. “In Italy and England, on the other hand, it can be done.
“It is still too early to know what will happen in the future, but it’s clear that Italy and England are places where I have been well.”
Benitez left Newcastle two years ago after failing to agree a new deal with owner Mike Ashley, who replaced him with Steve Bruce.