Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has said a return to management in the Premier League is a “priority”.
The 55-year-old is currently available after being sacked by Real Madrid in January and revealed his intentions to return to England on BT Sport on Wednesday night.
Benitez was a pundit as Madrid took on Roma in the Champions League and, as well as discussing the troubles he faced in Spain working under Florentino Perez, the Spaniard also discussed a return to Britain’s shores.
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“I like the Premier League and it is a priority [to return there] because my family lives on the Wirral,” he said. “But it is not easy because I have to watch every league just in case.
“But especially for my wife I’d like to return to management as she’s telling me to “go coaching.
“After one month, it’s fine with the wife and the children but obviously I’d like to be on the pitch.”
Benitez spent six seasons on Merseyside and guided the Reds to FA Cup and Champions League glory.
The dramatic win over AC Milan in 2005 - in which Liverpool trailed 3-0 at half-time before scoring three second-half goals and winning the tie on penalties - has gone down as one of the greatest matches in the club’s history and Benitez would be welcomed back at Anfield had Jurgen Klopp not arrived in October.
He nearly brought a first league title to the Reds in 19 years but Manchester United pipped Liverpool to the post in the 2008-09 season, despite Benitez’s team performing the double over their rivals.
The former Valencia boss left England for Inter Milan in 2010 but was back two years later, taking charge of Chelsea on an interim contract. The Blues are on the search for a new manager but it’s unlikely they’ll approach Benitez, who wasn’t well-received by the fans during his short stay at the west London club.
He went on to admit that he doesn’t see himself entering the dugout until the end of the season.
“Now that you play Champions League and Europa League, nobody will change the manager,” he added.
“So you have to wait and just see games, analyse tactics and talk with people that know the game and can give you information so you can learn and improve [as a manager].”
Benitez was sacked as Madrid manager seventh months after taking over at the Bernabeu. The Spanish giants were only four points behind then-leaders Atletico Madrid at the time of his sacking, but a 4-0 loss at home to Barcelona and rifts with several players didn’t help his cause.
But it won’t be long before Benitez finds himself at a top club. It’ll be interesting to see if Manchester United make a move should they fail in their reported attempt to land Jose Mourinho.