Rafa Benitez teases Newcastle United return - and reveals who he is in contact with at the club
The Spaniard, who lifted the Championship title with the Magpies, was adored by supporters during his three years on Tyneside as he battled with controversial owner Mike Ashley.
After growing fed up with the Sports Direct tycoon’s lack of ambition for the club, Benitez left at the end of his contract in June 2019 to manage Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro.
Benitez had been linked with a return last summer when PCP Partners, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers came close to acquiring the club.
The consortium, led by Amanda Staveley, is still fighting to complete a takeover – and it is understood the 61-year-old remains one of their leading managerial choices.
Benitez, in an interview with Sky Sports, refused to rule out a return to St James’s Park in the future.
He said: “When I left, I said it was a pity because I was really happy there.
“You never know what can happen in the future.
“I follow every game and I’m in contact with some of the players.
“I try to analyse and say, ‘oh I could do this and that’, because it’s natural for any manager to see how you could improve things.”
For the time being however, Benitez has set his sights on managing in the Premier League after being linked with the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job.
He added: “I moved to China because there were no top sides here, so I needed to keep competing and doing my job
"But at the moment I'm quite keen to stay in England, in Liverpool. I'm watching every Premier League game and sometimes Championship games so that I'm always ready.
"The priority is England, the Premier League, my family is here and I like the style of football here. I will try to be ready here.
"I am watching the Serie A because it is a good league for me but there, in France, in Germany, in Portugal, I don't see too many options in these countries to have a project where you can develop players and make the team more competitive."