Added to the list of potential managers who could take over Neil Lennon’s now vacant role at Parkhead, Rafa Benítez is a wanted man.
Napoli have already been linked with him, as have Newcastle United, currently struggling under Steve Bruce, and with a great position like the one at Parkhead available, it’s only natural that a manager of his stature would be linked.
A free agent since walking away from the DL Pro job in China for family reasons, Benítez has remained rather quiet regarding the speculation surrounding his future, until Wednesday.
Already said to have turned down Napoli as he didn’t want to join a club midway through the campaign, he had a brief appearance on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, where he was asked about a potential return to the Serie A side.
He said, relayed by Spazio Napoli: “A return to Napoli? I have a great relationship with the people of Naples and I still follow the team. Don’t throw words out of my mouth I don’t want to say. It’s better if I don’t say anything”.
This comes after a couple of articles suggested Aurelio De Laurentiis had reached out to see if the Spaniard would be interested in taking a role, not as a manager, but as a technical director to take over from Cristiano Giuntoli.
Maurizio Pistocchi put this forward on Radio Amore Campania, relayed by Area Napoli.
He said: “As far as I know, the boss’ intentions are clear: he wants to entrust the next project to Rafa Benítez, in the role of technical director. He earned him a lot of money and bought great players for the club, but it seems that the manager doesn’t want a directorial role.
“His ambition is still to be a manager, also because he earns even more by being a manager and not a technical director as the current owner of Napoli would like”.
That might be an advantage for Celtic, who would surely have no interest of Benítez taking up such a role at Celtic Park.