Rafael Benitez has refused to rule out the most sensational of moves to Everton as his Chelsea tenure came to an end with a win against the Toffees on Sunday.

The Europa League winning manager is desperate to remain in the Premier League and claimed to have a lot of respect for the Toffees, the bitter rivals of his former club Liverpool, whom he managed for six seasons.

Benitez told talkSPORT: "I have a lot of respect for Everton. They have done a great job in the last year, and you have to give credit to them. But, I still think it would be quite difficult for them to approach me and maybe even for me to go there," he said.

In his time at Liverpool between 2004-2010, Benitez was highly successful and delivered both a UEFA Super Cup and an FA Cup along with that stunning victory over Milan in the Champions League in May of 2005.

The unlikely move has received support from the most unlikely of sources, with retiring Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher feeling that his former boss would be the perfect fit for the Toffees.

Carragher told talkSPORT: "Why not? They're looking for a manager and he's looking for a job. He wants to stay in the Premier League and he's stated that a few times, that is his priority," he said.

"Everton would love to get someone with his CV, but with the Liverpool situation it makes it difficult. If all parties come together and they are willing to give it a go then I'm sure he would do a good job."

While it remains to be seen how the Everton fans would react to such a change, one thing that cannot be questioned is the record of the Spaniard.

He is one of the few managers to have broken the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain as he led Valencia to the La Liga title in both the 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons.

He continued his success at Liverpool with the Champions League title on that amazing night in Istanbul in 2005 and even though he is hugely unpopular with the Chelsea faithful he still managed to claim this season's Europa League crown.

Benitez is keen to remain in England to be close to his family, which could make the most unbelievable switch of the summer a possibility.


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