Putting up with quite a lot at Newcastle United, few would have blamed Rafa Benitez if he had called it quits with the job at St James’ Park, but the Spaniard stayed, finally got some players in and has got the Magpies climbing back up the table.
Having managed teams such as Inter Milan, Valencia, Chelsea, Napoli and Liverpool in the past, the veteran manager was recently ranked 37th in France Football’s controversial top 50 managers of all time.
Linked with the odd job here and there, it’s fair to say the Spaniard probably won’t retire at Newcastle, and the 58-year-old knows he’s reaching the final stretch of his career, meaning he could, for the first time in his career, make a return to one of his previous clubs.
The obvious option here would be Valencia, with whom he won La Liga in 2002 and 2004, and Benitez didn’t quash the idea when asked about it by Radio Marca.
He said: “I have a lot of respect for the Valencia manager. I have ten years left in football and you never know where I’ll end up. I haven’t returned to a club because the circumstances have never been there to do so.”
That’s certainly not a ‘I don’t want to return’, meaning the door could be open.
However, with Valencia currently on a 15 game unbeaten run, it might not happen just yet.