Rafa Benitez set for new role that could influence transfer of £34m Liverpool & Newcastle target

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Former Liverpool and Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is closing in on a return to management.

Benitez, who has been out of work since being sacked by Everton in January 2022, is reportedly set to join La Liga side Celta Vigo, according to The Athletic. The 63-year-old Spaniard is a respected figure among both Newcastle and Liverpool fan bases having famously helped The Reds to Champions League success in 2005 before leading The Magpies to the Championship title in 2016-17.

Benitez reportedly turned down offers from Saudi Arabian clubs following a takeover from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. PIF also owns an 80% stake in Newcastle.

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And in an interesting turn of events, Benitez is set to become the new manager of a player targeted by both Newcastle and Liverpool so far this summer. Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga has attracted plenty of interest so far this summer with the 21-year-old having a £34.5million release clause in his contract at the Spanish club.

The young Spaniard scored 11 goals in 36 La Liga appearances including a final day brace against Barcelona to keep Celta’s La Liga status intact. Reports from Spain claimed earlier this month that Newcastle were closing in on a deal for Veiga but The Gazette understands such claims were premature.

The Magpies are unlikely to make a move but the same cannot be said for Liverpool, who are understood to be weighing up a potential deal. And Benitez’s prior knowledge and understanding of the club could help convince the youngster to make the switch to Anfield.

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