An insider gives a much needed update on Rafa Benitez and his stance amid the reported links with the Celtic managerial role.
It’s claimed that the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle boss is set to get the job over at the Scottish Premiership side with Neil Lennon under huge amounts of pressure.
Within 24 hours of the 60-year-old since departing the Super League side, he’s been installed as the betting favourite to become Celtic’s next manager.
However whilst everyone gets excited, know that there could be a potential meeting between himself and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard later this season, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes Rafa Benitez will be looking to “rest” after leaving Chinese side Dalian Pro.
The Sunday Mirror report how he is set to succeed Neil Lennon in Glasgow with the reigning Premiership champions 23 points behind their fierce rivals.
Balague however says he isn’t convinced a move to Celtic is imminent and reckons Benitez will mull over any offers that come his way after his return from China.
He said via his Twitter account: “Rafa Benitez to Celtic? There was interest in him but not an option today.
“He’s going to rest for a bit, despite offers (from Germany, also a national side)
“By the way, about Celtic: there is a false document doing the rounds (check the phone number).”
Rafa Benitez to Celtic? There was interest in him but not an option today
He’s going to rest for a bit, despite offers (from Germany, also a national side…)
By the way, about Celtic: there is a false document doing the rounds (check the phone number 😂) https://t.co/X40LCU1riq
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 24, 2021
Benitez admitted his departure from Dalian was in relation to the ongoing pandemic as he plots his next move in football.
He said: “Unfortunately, like so many things in the last year, COVID-19 has changed our lives and our projects. From today, both my coaching staff and I will sadly no longer be coaching Dalian.
“The pandemic is still here, for all of us, and supporting our families has been a priority when making this decision.”
Benitez has been dubbed as one of the best tacticians in the modern era with most of the sides he’s previously managed consistently reaching the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League.
RAFA’S MANAGERIAL STATS:
Real Madrid B – 1993 until 1995 – 65 games, 26 wins, 18 draws, 21 defeats, 40.0 win %
Real Valladolid – 1995 until 1996 – 29 games, 5 wins, 10 draws, 14 defeats, 17.2 win %
Osasuna – 1996 until 1996 – 11 games, 3 wins, 4 draws, 4 defeats, 27.3 win %
Extremadura – 1997 until 1999 – 92 games, 36 wins, 26 draws, 30 defeats, 39.1 win %
Tenerife – 2000 until 2001 – 46 games, 23 wins, 11 draws, 12 defeats, 50.0 win %
Valencia – July 2001 until 1 June 2004 – 162 games, 88 wins, 41 draws, 33 defeats, 54.3 win %
Liverpool – 16 June 2004 until 3 June 2010 – 350 games, 194 wins, 77 draws, 79 defeats, 55.4 win %
Inter Milan – 10 June 2010 until 23 December 2010 – 25 games, 12 wins, 6 draws, 7 defeats, 48.0 win %
Chelsea (interim) – 21 November 2012 until 27 May 2013 – 48 games, 28 wins, 10 draws, 10 defeats, 58.3 win %
Napoli – 27 May 2013 until 3 June 2015 – 112 games, 59 wins, 28 draws, 25 defeats, 52.7 win %
Real Madrid – 3 June 2015 until 4 January 2016 – 25 games, 17 wins, 5 draws, 3 defeats, 68.0 win %
Newcastle United – 11 March 2016 until 30 June 2019 – 146 games, 62 wins, 31 draws, 53 defeats, 42.5 win %
Dalian Professional – 2 July 2019 until 23 January 2021 – 38 games, 12 wins, 8 draws, 18 defeats, 31.6 win %
Total – 1,148 games, 565 wins, 275 draws, 308 defeats, 49.2 win %
Neil Lennon remains in charge of Celtic despite calls to go and a report in the Daily Mail on Saturday said that the “plan” was for him to stay until the end of the season.
Eddie Howe was another manager rumoured this weekend to takeover at Celtic in what seems to be an ever changing situation.
As reported by The Scottish Sun, Betfred did suspend all betting on the next manager of Celtic with Howe listed as 1/10 favourite to succeed Lennon before they closed the betting.
Recent reports suggested that Lennon’s future at the club will be decided by the end of this month as the board are currently ‘reviewing’ his position.
Fans reacted as an insider gives an update on Rafa Benitez has his stance amid links with Celtic…
@Liam98__: Cheers for ruining the weekend Guillem, could’ve waited till Monday
@DavyChristie: Seriously though, at any point did you think it was genuine?
@Liam98__: Course not, if we ever sack Lennon it’ll only be to replace him with another yes man.
@bigbthesoulman: here you go,now will everyone stop tweeting shit
@TTic1888: We asked for mourinho before we got lennon back. Now we want Rafa we will end up with craig levein
@NEILJUNGERS67: Nobody believed that document
@BattleFeverBear: Yes they did. It’s plastered all over celtic social media and forums who expected him in glasgow this week.
@DrFunkeRFC: Im shocked. Rafa said no thanks. So thats Poch, Rafa… who’s next to say no before they offer Jack Ross that cut price contract they can afford.
@Sir_Randolph_VC: It is a cesspit of a club riddled with a dark and sinister history that no decent human being would want to be associated with. The fans even attacked their own players with barricades put up to protect them.
@coplandrear4: Why would Rafa want to be associated with a basket case of a club surrounded by child abuse allegations?
@ScotsIrishCelt: It was never on.
@mickcampbell81: Bookies r loving these stupid lookin bastards the now raking it in
@LewisJoe_: Absolutely outstanding that the fake letter has got them and the media on strings
@Alisdair14: HAHAHAHAHHAH EVERYONE IS LAUGHING AT THEM
@Gastro_Celtic: Well that is this one knocked on the head nice and early…
@DanGall19: If he’s offered the celtic job he should snap their hands off, it’s the perfect job for him but he seems to want to chase the money these days.
@ConorM67_: Was fun while it lasted , also confirming that a chief football writer in the UK genuinely believed that fake letter
@BaresiCrazy: Awe well who’s the bookies suspending it on next?
@18SGBA72: Hahahah WORLD WIDE LAUGHING STOCK
@RangersBearMk2: Benitez was never going to Celtc anyway. Sitting on £12m/yr after tax in China, he commands 10s of millions in transfer budgets which Celtic can’t offer. Make way for Jack Ross.
@HEPennypacker01: Hahaha worldwide laughing stock.
@Moffat27Sean: As definitive as you need. Not a chance it’s happening so people need to stop hoping.
@ordinarybhoy: No one really fell for that letter did they?
@joe_black1509: I tell you something the @CelticFC fan base are the most stupidest & gullible & just downright thick fan base on this planet. A distinction that is well earned & of course they win hands down!