Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez finally appears to be on the verge of making a return to the Merseyside but this time to become the new Everton manager after holding another round of positive talks with the Premier League club.
Although not having been formally offered the job yet, sources last night claimed a deal “was close” and, remarkably, it is still a possibility that former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo could still be appointed for the same role.
Apparently Nuno, who left Wolves at the end of the season after finishing a disappointing 13th, had reached an agreement last Friday but that has yet to be ratified. The 47-year-old Portuguese had been expecting a formal offer last weekend but that has not transpired although neither he nor Benitez have he been ruled out.
But as it stands the former Liverpool manager seems to be the clear favourite, although sources also cautioned that the details of the deal, including length of contract, were still being thrashed out.
Unquestionably, hiring Benitez it would be one of the most unexpected appointments in Everton club’s 143-year history as a portion of the fans may be reactionary to the Spaniard’s appointment. On the other hand, others could well assume a more pragmatic view given Benitez’s incredible track record despite his strong Anfield links. It would also be fascinating to gauge the reaction of Liverpool fans towards Benitez as it is understood that he would relish the opportunity to turn Everton into serious title challengers on both the domestic and European fronts.
Benitez has also had further productive talks with the club, and has also made it clear that he is not only keen to make a return to the Premier League but has no problems over the reins at Everton despite his six years across Stanley Park at Liverpool.
The 61-year-old still maintains a family home in Merseyside since moving there from Valencia in 2004 and has won the Champions League and FA Cup for Liverpool and his candidacy would obviously merit serious rating given the calibre of his CV which includes the highest honors in European football with stints at Liverpool, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Napoli.
Benitez has always been open about his eagerness to return to management in England as soon as possible two years after he left Newcastle United.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia