Rafael Benitez interested in becoming next Leeds manager but ex-Watford and Valencia boss Javi Gracia favourite for job

Former Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton boss Rafael Benitez is interested in the Leeds job, talkSPORT understands.

Nevertheless, the publish is extra prone to go to Javi Gracia, who has managed Watford in the Premier League in addition to Spanish facet Valencia.



Benitez has a breadth of expertise as a manager, having managed 4 Premier League golf equipment in addition to European giants Actual Madrid and Inter Milan

Gracia could make a return to the Premier League


Gracia may make a return to the Premier League

Leeds, who misplaced at relegation rivals Everton on Saturday, have been with no head coach since sacking Jesse Marsch on February 6.

They usually could possibly be getting a manager with big expertise in Benitez, who begun his teaching profession in 1986.

Benitez made his title with Valencia, guiding them to LaLiga glory twice and additionally profitable the UEFA Cup throughout a three-year spell in cost.

This success earned him a transfer to Liverpool, the place he gained the Champions League in his first season in cost. He additionally gained the FA Cup throughout his time at Anfield.

After a short spell in cost of Inter Milan, Benitez returned to England to take cost of Chelsea on an interim foundation in the 2012/13 season, serving to them to win the Europa League.


Spells in cost of Napoli and Actual Madrid was adopted by a three-year stint at Newcastle, the place he endeared himself to followers as he obtained them promoted again to the Premier League in 2016/17.

Benitez is revered at Liverpool having won the Champions League with them in 2005


Benitez is revered at Liverpool having gained the Champions League with them in 2005

He’s not everyone’s cup of tea having struggled to endear himself to Chelsea fans in his time at Stamford Bridge


He’s not everybody’s cup of tea having struggled to endear himself to Chelsea followers in his time at Stamford Bridge

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Benitez’s most up-to-date publish noticed him return to Merseyside to handle Everton in the summer season of 2021, nonetheless, he was relieved of his duties in January 2022 after simply six-and-a-half months in the job.

On the prospect of Leeds getting Benitez in, talkSPORT’ Danny Murphy stated: “It’s a tough one as a result of they’re so used to taking part in on the entrance foot so it’s an entire distinction, an entire change.

“Though it’s not going notably nicely for them in the meanwhile so possibly on a short-term contract it could possibly be definitely worth the threat as a result of he’s excellent at getting the staff organised and making them exhausting to beat.”

In the meantime, Gracia has been with no membership since leaving Qatari outfit Al Sadd final yr.

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear previously said their search for a new manager is ‘well advanced’, but Leeds have had setbacks


Leeds chief government Angus Kinnear beforehand stated their search for a brand new manager is ‘nicely superior’, but Leeds have had setbacks

The 52-year-old Spaniard gained 25 of his 66 video games in cost of Watford throughout his 20 months at Vicarage Street.

He additionally led them to the FA Cup closing the place they misplaced 6-0 to Manchester Metropolis, in addition to serving to to steer them away from relegation – and the latter expertise is precisely what Leeds will likely be trying for.

Nevertheless, after avoiding the drop zone in 2018/19, Gracia was sacked by the membership only one month into the next season, leaving his facet backside of the Premier League with only one level from their first 4 league matches.

After his spell with the Hornets, the Spaniard – who performed for Athletic Bilbao and Actual Sociedad – went on to handle Valencia, but was dismissed lower than a yr after his return to LaLiga.

He then took over from his compatriot, now-Barcelona boss Xavi, at Al Sadd in December 2021 but left in June final yr.

The Whites had been linked with West Brom’s Carlos Corberan, Rayo Vallecano’s Andoni Iraola and Feyenoord boss Arne Slot, but none of these potential appointments materialised.

Following their 1-0 loss to Everton on Saturday, Leeds sit second from backside in the Premier League, two factors from security and susceptible to returning to the Championship following their promotion in 2020.

Marsch had been in cost of the Whites since February 2022 and steered them away from relegation final season, but was sacked having gained solely 4 of their 20 league matches this time period.

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