Rafa Benitez has long admired Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.
The winger, signed from Roma last year, has scored 23 Premier League goals for Jurgen Klopp's side so far this season.
Benitez has followed Salah for a number of years, but he wasn't able to afford him at his previous clubs.
Newcastle United's manager has spoken about the 25-year-old ahead of tomorrow evening's televised Premier League game against Liverpool, his former club, at Anfield.
Asked about Salah, Benitez said: "We were following him years ago – I have a friend in Egypt – but the money was big.
“He has improved a lot. Klopp is doing a good job. He scores goals. We wanted him in Italy and also England and Napoli."
Asked how Salah is able to score so many goals from wide areas, Benitez added: "His pace and ability.
"In Italy, he was a key player for Roma. If you have pace and chances, you will score goals."
Benitez guided Liverpool to the Champions League trophy in 2005.
"It's a special place," said Benitez. "We won so many things there and enjoyed every minute. Compare our fans and their fans, so similar.
"My family's still there. The connection's there. I was six years there, four trophies, finals. I hope to do the same here, then the connection will be the same."