Rafa Benitez lined up to replace Gary Neville [AS]

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Football News

Valencia have reportedly begun negotiations to bring former manager Rafa Benitez back to the Mestalla Stadium at the end of the season.

According to AS, Benitez is being lined up to replace interim manager Gary Neville, whose contract runs until the end of this season.

Unlike at many of his other clubs, Benitez is still revered amongst the Valencia faithful as the manager who guided them to two La Liga titles as well as the Uefa Cup in 2004.


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In comparison, Neville is enjoying a torrid time in Spain with Wednesday night’s 7-0 thumping by Barcelona the latest setback to his fledgling managerial career.

The Manchester United legend is yet to win a league game in eight attempts and failure to beat Real Betis this weekend could leave his position under threat although it is expected that another interim would step in until the summer.

Having taken the Valencia job to many people’s surprise, Neville was widely touted as a future United and England manager; however, this baptism of fire in La Liga may well convince the former right-back that his future lies back in punditry.

Benitez, meanwhile, is available having been sacked by Real Madrid last month. The Spaniard was under immediate pressure upon arriving at the Bernabeu with president Florentino Perez’s influence on team selection proving particularly disruptive.

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