Rafa Benitez’ continued non-committal stance on his future at Napoli has, according to reports, stoked the fire surrounding rumours he wants to return to England.
The Spaniard’s contract with the Little Donkeys expires at the end of this season. But with the club chasing a five-point gap to Lazio for the last Champions League spot, the Coppa Italia and Europa League crowns, Benitez cannot afford to lose focus.
However, with his wife and two daughters still living in this country, it’s easy to see why a return is high on the former Liverpool man’s priorities.
It could be that a few job opportunities arise in the Premier League over the summer, giving Benitez food for thought. Here’s three possibilities:
A failure to defend their top-flight crown and another ignominious exit from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona makes Manuel Pellegrini’s position at the Etihad precarious.
Given Benitez’s prowess in Europe, where he has won four trophies, it could tempt the Citizens suits into prying the former Chelsea interim boss away and their stature in the game would make the job difficult to turn down.
Beyond Man City, there doesn’t look to be any other Premier League jobs up for grabs this summer, unless Arsene Wenger springs a surprise retirement.
One club who are on the next rung down though are the Hammers and their constant hate-hate relationship with Sam Allardyce could finally come to a head at season’s end.
The east Londoners have shown themselves capable of putting together a run at the top six, but the addition of Benitez could help them sustain it for longer.
In taking up the temporary post at Stamford Bridge, Benitez has already shown he doesn’t care much about showing loyalty to Liverpool, so the thought of him pitching up at Goodison isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
After a disappointing season, Toffees fans have started to turn on Roberto Martinez, but how will they react to a Spaniard they like even less?
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