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Rafael Benitez wants to leave Napoli and could return to the Premier League, says Guillem Balague

Napoli's Spanish manager Rafa Benitez (C-R) congratulates his players after winning the penalty shoot-out during the Italian Super Cup against Juventus FC
Image: Rafael Benitez wants to leave Napoli, says Guillem Balague

Rafael Benitez has denied rumours linking him with Manchester City but Guillem Balague reckons the Spaniard would love to manage in the Premier League again.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss is currently in charge of Serie A side Napoli, and has taken them to within touching distance of a place in the Europa League semi-final, but Balague believes he wants to leave the club.

When asked if he could see Benitez returning to the Premier League, Balague told Sky Sports News HD: “Yes, I can. It’s not going to be easy, because having been at the top of the profession he’d like to go to a team that can challenge for titles, but I’m very certain that he won’t stay at Napoli next season.

“He’s looking for something else now, because he feels that the club is not challenging for the title. The structure of Napoli doesn’t belong to the elite. There’s not going to be enough money for him to do that. Next, let’s see.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with manager Rafael Benitez with the FA Cup after the FA Cup Final win over West Ham in May 2006
Image: Former Liverpool boss Benitez could return to the Premier League

“I think PSG are looking for a new manager. Laurent Blanc and the board don’t get on that well, so he could be a candidate there.

“Manchester City has been mentioned, I’m not too sure about the relationship with [City director of football] Txiki Begiristain, and the style, whether that will suit him. Newcastle, perhaps, but I’m certain he is looking for the possibility of returning to the Premier League.”

Despite the rumours, Benitez has denied any contact with the Premier League champions.

He told the Italian press on Wednesday: “I have not had contacts with City, unlike what I've read in England. I have spoken to the (Napoli) president via messages but we have not been able to meet due to our busy playing schedule in order to evaluate the business plan.

"Now our focus is on matters on the pitch. We can fight until the end for all of our aims. We can still qualify for the Champions league, whether it is by winning the Europa League or by finishing in the top three of Serie A.” 

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