Rafa Benitez anxiously wants to return to the pitch as a football manager but he does not want a job outside Europe at this stage of his managerial career.
He has revealed that teams in United Arab Emirates, United States, Brazil, and China want his services but he prefers to return to coaching in England because he enjoyed life in the country and his family members are based there.
The 60-year-old Spanish tactician was recently the football manager of a Chinese Super League club Dalian. He joined the club in 2019 and left the club in 2021. Since then, he has been jobless and waiting for the right opportunity to return to mainstream coaching duties.
The last time Rafa Benitez tested coaching in an elite European club was in 2019 at Newcastle United. He was frustrated out of the club after spending three years in which he helped the club to remain in the Premier League against all odds.
According to reports, he had to leave Newcastle United because his relationship with the owner of the club, Mike Ashley went sour despite how he was able to keep the club consistent in the league.
But the Spanish tactician described his era at Newcastle United as “an amazing time” for him, noting that he “suffered from the fans because they deserved more”.
Rafa Benitez who made his name as a world-class coach at Liverpool football club between 2004 and 2010, has coached some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, and Real Madrid.
The Spanish tactician believes that he still has a lot to offer at the highest level of club football even though he has not been linked with a move to any top club in Europe. Scottish club, Celtic is said to be the only club that might show interest in his service since they are still hunting for a new coach after the departure of Neil Lennon but nothing concrete has been made public as of the time of publishing this report.
“The priority is England,” Benitez told The Sunday Times. “Why? Because obviously I like the Premier League and my family is here.
“I have a lot [of offers] from the Emirates, United States, Brazil, China, but I want to stay in Europe. And I want to stay in England.
“If it’s the right one, we can do it tomorrow but the project, the competitive team, is not there at the moment so we have to wait.
“But I don’t want to stay without working. I want to be on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Among all the clubs Rafa Benitez has coached in his career, he attained the highest degree of success while at Liverpool. He won one UEFA Champions League title, UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup, and one Community Shield in his 6 years stay at the Merseyside club.