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Rafa Benitez interested in the Leeds United job

Former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez is interested in the vacant Leeds United manager’s job according to talkSPORT.

Benitez has English football experience after managing four clubs in the Premier League and spearheading some to titles.

Most recently, he was in charge of Everton but left the club in January 2022 after only six months and two weeks in charge of the Toffees.

The story with Everton did not end happily as the Spaniard had managed Merseyside rivals, Liverpool. He led the Reds to the Champions League and FA Cup during his first stint in England.

Benitez is a polarising figure, as evidenced by his time at Newcastle United and Chelsea. The Magpies love him and see him as a hero who brought them back to the Premier League from relegation.

But at Chelsea, he was not their cup of tea. While he won the Europa League for the Blues during his short stint, the fans never took to him.

Fans of the London club even jeered him with terrible chants like the now famous ‘fat Spanish waiter’ one. Despite producing silverware from a sour season, they did not appreciate his Liverpool ties either.

Benitez has varied experience and has managed Real Madrid, Napoli and Inter Milan. He won domestic cups with the two Serie A clubs but struggled with the La Liga giants.

The 62-year-old made his name in his native Spain with Valencia, leading them to win La Liga twice and the UEFA Super Cup. He could be an exciting option at Elland Road.

However, Leeds are pushing to take former Watford boss Javi Gracia. He tops their managerial shortlist after they failed with moves for Alfred Schreuder and Jesse Marsch.

Leeds also missed out on Carlos Corberan, who signed a new deal with West Bromwich Albion despite their interest.

Gracia has been out of a job since leaving Qatari club Al-Sadd last year. The 52-year-old managed the Hornets during the 2018/19 season, impressively leading them to Premier League safety.

He took Watford to the FA Cup final for only the second time in their history, but they lost 6-0 to Manchester City.

Watford sacked him the following season after a poor start that left them bottom of the table with only one point after four games.

Gracia could return to the Premier League to help Leeds escape relegation this season. They sit 19th in the league with no wins in their last ten.

Whoever comes in will be hoping for a miracle to turn the team’s fortunes around with the form they are in.

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