Where next for Rafa Benitez?

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You'd be forgiven for thinking that Rafa Benitez was pitching to become Lord Sugar's new apprentice, such was the polished nature of his talk at Soccerex European Forum in Manchester this week.

The Spaniard was supposed to be giving a talk on 'The Art of Management' but instead the lecture morphed into a pitch for another stab at the big time.

"At this moment my priority is to stay in the Premier League, and I know that I can win. With my people and with my team, we can win trophies,'' Benitez said.

"When you have been at the top winning trophies, you have a lot of people working with you and you have a methodology - you think you can be successful again. I am not desperate because I have had a lot of offers. But I am looking for a new job.''

There's little doubt Benitez has the body of work to support a claim for any job in world football.

The last manager to displace the big two in Spain and just the third manager to win the UEFA Cup and European Cup in successive seasons; Benitez has proven he has the ability to bring success wherever he goes.

However, his spell at Inter Milan where he failed to see out six months worked to undermine his work thus far in the management game.

Now looking for a new job, Benitez has thrust himself into the spotlight for every position going over the next few months, the question is, where does his future lie?


The Blues will make a permanent appointment in the summer following the sacking Andre Villas-Boas, and despite the hazardous nature of the position under the watchful eye of Roman Abramovich, Benitez would have the cash available to build a formidable squad.

Having a Champions League winners medal to his name will also make him high on the Russian's list, and given his knack for beating Chelsea in the knock-out phase of Europe's premier club competition, he's a strong contender.

Odds: 50/1

If the Football Association decide against bringing in an English manager, they could do much worse than hiring Benitez.

Fluent in English, Benitez lives in England and has a comprehensive knowledge of the players he would have available to him. Despite being without international experience, Benitez has managed at the very top of the game, and wouldn't be overawed by the role, nor the pressure.

Odds: 20/1

Having taken the club to the Champions League final twice in three years, while winning the FA Cup in between, Benitez certainly had a fair amount of success at Anfield.

However, his negative tactics, dubious transfer policy and eventual departure marred his career at Liverpool.

The club's fortunes haven't improved much since his departure, and recent revelations that he'd consider a return at least make it a short term possibility, if Kenny Dalglish's failures this season aren't overlooked.

Real Madrid
Odds: 6/1

Benitez cut his managerial teeth with Madrid's youth side, with great success, winning the Under-19 League and Cup double in 1993 before becoming boss of Extremadura.

With much talk surrounding Jose Mourinho's future, Benitez would be the low risk option for Madrid, while also possessing two La Liga titles under his belt, and plenty of Champions League success. He's likely to tick all of Florentino Perez's boxes.

Tottenham Hotspur
Odds: 33/1

Again, his Premier League knowledge would make him a prized asset for Spurs while being proven at sustaining title challenges will excite the north London crowd who will be eager not to fall off the pace.

His defensive tactics are unlikely to thrill those at White Hart Lane, who have become used to free-flowing attacking play under Harry Redknapp, while his often strange transfer dealings, that used to be a thing of the past at Tottenham, could return.

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