Former Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that during his final year at the club he had offers from other Premier League clubs.
The Spaniard went on and also claimed that he will be returning to England in the future as it is where his family still lives.
With two big jobs cropping up in recent weeks at both Everton and Arsenal, it is not surprising that the experienced coach had been linked to both jobs, though he did distance himself from them both last week.
Whether either of the sides wanted the 59-year-old is a different question, but they both look to have found their new number ones in the past few days with Carlo Ancelotti rumoured to be joining Everton and Mikel Arteta looks likely to be joining Arsenal.
Who plays the better football?
Speaking on The Athletic podcast, the former Magpies boss discussed being offered a different job while at St James’ Park.
He said: “Even last year when I was in Newcastle I had some offers from the Premier League.
“Then when I left, I decided I wanted to keep working, I didn’t want to wait.
“That’s it, it was a big project, a great option and I was happy with that.
“If these teams that fired their managers, if they wanted to come in the past, they could come.
“And if they wanted to come they had to be really convinced.
His job on Tyneside won’t be the last for him though. With his family still living in the UK, it is clear that his heart is set on returning here.
Which, regrettably for fans, means that they could well see him in the opposition dugout in good time.
“Yeah [I’ll come back] in the future for sure because my family’s here.”, Benitez added.
“The Premier League is very exciting. Competitive, stadiums are full, the fans are very passionate.
“A lot of positives and the game is really intense so it’s something I like.”
These words are likely to be slightly bittersweet for Newcastle fans. Despite it being now half a year since Benitez left the club, there is no doubt that much of the fanbase still wishes that he was at the helm, despite Steve Bruce doing a good job in some pretty ugly circumstances.
Fans are likely to be happy about the fact that he had enough respect while at Newcastle to not accept other advances from the Premier League despite the obvious tension between him and Mike Ashley. On the contrary, the message is entirely positive as it means that a return to England is on the cards, which could be painful for some.
This article was originally posted here