Respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague believes the Celtic-linked Rafa Benitez will be looking to stay in the English Premier League this summer, as reported by The Daily Record.
The paper say that Benitez is currently the bookies’ third-favourite to take up the permanent position at Celtic Park, behind current boss Neil Lennon and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.
Balague understands that the 59-year-old Spaniard is currently unsettled at Newcastle but feels if he does leave St James’ Park he will be looking to stay in the same division.
As quoted by The Record, he explained:
The priority is to stay at Newcastle.
The kind of offers that he got, which are like €10m net a year, come from Saudi Arabia and China which I don’t think are the places he should go next.
The battle is to stay at Newcastle, if he gets enough support.
If he doesn’t stay at Newcastle I think the Premier League will be the competition he would like to stay in. I think that will be the target.
Another matter is which club will actually go for him. I don’t believe there’s been offers yet in that department. But that’s where it all stands – he wants to stay in the Premier League. The Premier League is his big target.
Benitez probably remains the prime pick for many Celtic fans, especially the ones who crave a big name manager to maintain the standards that Rodgers introduced to the club before leaving for Leicester City.
There are concerns about the future of the team under Lennon, but he will also be a popular choice with plenty if he wins the league and Scottish Cup over the next month.
Whether Celtic can fund a move for Benitez remains to be seen, but in my opinion they should at least be asking the question, with his future at St James’ Park very much in doubt.
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