Celtic are currently linked with a number of names to potentially come in and replace the recently departed Neil Lennon. The Irishman left the club amid talks of his sacking after the Hoops have suffered a lacklustre season in both the Premiership and Europa League.
One name that has been heavily flirted with the idea of stepping in is Rafael Benitez. Before Lennon left the club, The Mirror reported that he was heavily in the picture to take over as head coach following his decision to leave his position in China. Whilst talks may have gone a little quiet since, bookmakers are still including him in the running to take the job.
Benitez himself has since come out with a rather interesting statement about his next career move. Speaking to the Daily Record, the Spaniard admitted he has had “so many offers” since he became available again “from South America to the Emirates”, however he isn’t looking to pursue any of these options.
“I want to stay in Europe and I want to do so to be competitive at a high level,” Benitez continued. “I’m looking for a project that will allow me to be competitive and with time and space to grow.”
This is definitely something to prick up the ears of fans and professionals alike. Due to their disappointing 2020/21 season, Celtic are very much in need of a squad revamp and a new set of managerial tactics. Benitez found success with Liverpool and boasts a Champions League trophy and FA Cup. He also won the Europa League with Chelsea and the Club World Cup with Inter Milan, just to name a few of his accolades.
He managed to drive Newcastle to their promotion from the Championship back in 2016 too, showing he has what it takes to challenge in both league and cup competitions.
His pedigree speaks for itself and his desire to stay in Europa and take on a project that needs some TLC is very telling. Perhaps the Celtic job has been earmarked by the Spaniard as the season in Scotland rounds off.