Rafa Benitez – former Champions League winner with Liverpool and interim manager at Stamford Bridge – has seemingly sparked a wave of speculation over where his future lies next season. The Mirror are reporting that the 54-year-old Spaniard ‘will coach at another club’ come the end of the 2014/15 campaign, despite currently residing over Serie A high-flyers, Napoli.
Such talk has nonetheless opened the door to a potential return to the Premier League for the former Valencia boss, with several English clubs apparently in with an outside chance of landing the ex-Anfield favourite in a bid to improve on their fortunes in the not too distant future.
London 24 report that Newcastle, West Ham and QPR are all interested in bringing the highly coveted coach back to England next season, although several other European clubs will also be in the market for a new manager throughout the summer.
In light of such developments, which club would ultimately best suit the services of Rafa Benitez should he decide to make a shock return to the Premier League?
Newcastle United are certainly a team in need of some guidance. Under the unexpected leadership of head coach John Carver – an eventuality that likely came as a surprise to the fans and the man himself – the Magpies have been left in a state of limbo by their chairman, with signs of any sort of positive direction or progress remaining elusive.
Benitez could nonetheless work wonders with the Tynesiders next season, but as Mike Ashley has shown a distinct lack of investment in the club in recent campaigns – with the St. James’ faithful growing more and more impatient with the situation in every passing year – perhaps jumping back into the Premier League in such an unstable environment would ultimately prove an unwise decision for the former Liverpool boss.
QPR are also lacking in leadership at the moment but it would be a strange step in the career of Rafa Benitez should the Spaniard decide to make such a bold move. The west Londoners hardly represent the most illustrious club he could join up.
The Hoops have simply been all over the place with their recent transfer activity and managerial appointments – and as the threat of relegation still happens to linger dangerously around the confines of Loftus Road – QPR’s Premier League future remains somewhat foggy to say the least.
For the lack of other viable options left in the English top-flight for Bentitez to truly consider, West Ham could ultimately prove to be the most suitable club for the Spanish tactician to reapply himself in the Premier League with. The Hammers have pretty much run their course with current manager Sam Allardyce, and as the former Liverpool man will most likely offer West Ham a more entertaining brand of football than Big Sam, the majority of the Upton Park faithful would probably welcome such an opportunity with open arms.
Benitez has a wealth of experience in the Champions League, he has presided over some of the most illustrious names in world football throughout his time in the dug-out – but most importantly of all – he knows what it takes to be successful in the Premier League.
The Hammers may have a few qualms over the fact that he has managed London rivals Chelsea in the past but as such a notion seemingly didn’t stop the east-enders from landing Gianfranco Zola just a few seasons ago, the Spaniard would likely face little opposition at Upton Park should he decide to make the switch.
West Ham are also a club seemingly heading in the right direction, with their impending move to the Olympic Stadium potentially proving pivotal in luring in the former Anfield manager.
As a large portion of the Premier League season still remains to be decided however, time will simply have to tell in regards to where Rafa Benitez will eventually end up.