4 Mar 2015

Stunning News: Agent claims LFC legend 'will return to Liverpool' and replace Rodgers

During Liverpool's poor early-season form, Rafa Benitez emerged as a 5-1 favourite to replace Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, and at the time, a lot of Reds fans were wildly in favour of the change. Rodgers has turned things around since then, but according to one agent, Benitez is on course for a stunning return to Anfield this summer.

Benitez has reportedly rejected a new contract at Napoli, and speaking to Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato this week, FIFA agent Jose Alberti claimed:

"He [Benitez] he will return to England in three months. His mind is already there. He will return to Liverpool and he wants to get back to winning. He is ideal for the Premier League."

It should be noted that Alberti is *not* Benitez's agent. Manuel Garcia Quilon represents the Spaniard, so I don't see how this statement is authoritative. Perhaps Alberti has some inside information, who knows.

The fact that Benitez wants to return to Liverpool at some point is beyond dispute, though. Last season, he emphatically told reporters:

"I know I will return to Liverpool as coach one day, almost certainly. What I don’t know is when but my wife and children still live there, so I will be back".

Soon after, Benitez he made it clear yet again (albeit indirectly) that he'd love a return to Liverpool. He told CalcioMercato:

“My family is distant, my wife and my two daughters live in Liverpool. It’s the first time that they are not with me and it’s not easy. De Laurentiis knows very well how important the value of the family is.”".

In November, I conducted a poll on the site asking whether Benitez is a good choice to replace Rodgers:

* 16200 visitors (approx) participated in the poll.
* 81% of fans voted YES for a Benitez return.

If Brendan Rodgers gets the red card, Benitez will inevitably be positioned as a major contender for the job. I strongly advocated his departure in 2009, and I maintain it was the right decision to move him on at that time.

However, five years have passed, which is plenty of time to reflect on his initial six-year tenure, and given his nature, I'm sure Benitez has exhaustively analysed where he went wrong, and how he can improve things the second time around.

As such, he'd probably make a better Liverpool manager now, and despite being one of his biggest detractors, I'd tentatively support Benitez's return to Anfield.

Football opinions should not be inflexible to the point of extreme intransigence; people change, learn, and, most importantly, grow, and with his experiences over the last five years, Benitez - described by Gary Monk in September as an 'inspiring' manager - remains a realistic candidate for the Liverpool job.

Just to clarify: Benitez is not my preferred choice to take over from Rodgers, nor do I expect FSG to make a chance in the summer. I'm merely stating that if Rodgers leaves, and Benitez is given him another chance in the Anfield hot-seat, I won't be too disappointed.

Nothing is certain at Liverpool, though. Rodgers is doing well right now, but things change very quickly, and a few bad results is all it takes for the knives to come out.

Just look at the first half of the season - fans were calling for Rodgers' head left, right, and centre, and if LFC start next season in a similar fashion, the same thing will happen again.

Benitez clearly has unfinished business at Liverpool, and it feels like he is destined to return at some stage, but I can't see that happening this summer.

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  1. I voted yes a few months back and now I feel ashamed that I lost all trust in Rodgers back then.

    Rodgers apparently was close to getting sacked, but he turned things around in december and again proved his managerial qualities.
    Brendan is a good manager and I hope he stays at liverpool for a long time as I've no doubt he could win quite a few trophies at this club!

    however, if - for whatever reason - Rodgers leaves Liverpool, Rafa would be my prefered replacement

  2. Jaimie, close this thread for discussion, DerBaumMann said it all.

  3. what a pointless article

  4. Lysias Chadya Sibanda2:19 pm, March 04, 2015

    This story seems to not just be going away . Rodgers has proved what an amazing manager he is . Frankly I think Benitez tends to be become grumpy when he does not get the transfers he wants . Not Rodgers . He just gets the job done no matter what odds are staked against him .we need a manager that will grow with the team and whose future will be etched in the history of this football club .

  5. Hiya, first post.
    I picked up on this last night & found it strange.
    I feel he's revering to Benitez's home in Liverpool ( Wirral ) & not the club, hence the Premier league reference.
    I can see him returning this close season. Man City probably his first choice but I wouldn't be surprised to see him go to West Ham.
    His family seem to prefer UK, he can work in London with family based on the Wirral.
    He could probably look at West Ham as an ambitious club moving into a new 55,000 stadium with the London advantage

  6. Proud to say I wasn't part of that 81%. I have a lot of respect for Rafa, but we're moving forward and I for one am enjoying the style of football we play.

  7. No thank you. This ship has sailed...

  8. If we lose Brendan Man City will snap him up and dominate the league. Lets just be thankful we have him and stop talking about Benitez please

  9. The fact you prefaced your comment with 'first post' makes me suspicious this *isn't* in fact your first post. I'm watching you, hawthorn.

  10. check out his profile sherlock loblaw ;-)

  11. Mr. Point Of View2:43 pm, March 04, 2015

    I go for NO ! Because i prefer some1 else

  12. I did. I just suspect everyone of being 50+ these days.

  13. Rodgers has done and said a few things that me 'like' him less than I did last season, but the reason I want him to not get sacked is that he is a very, very good coach, and if he went to one of our moneyed rivals, we might live to regret it.

    Benitez I have a lot of respect for, too. My dream is for an 'RR' or 'BB' tag team. My other dream was that Torres transferred to Chelsea. Alright, that was a nightmare, but a few months later, it happened! So, dare to dream, folks.

  14. It is simply Rafa letting premier league teams know he is available, he would not be so crude or disrespectful.

  15. Agreed you always need to be sceptical on this site

  16. Nicolas Chamberlain3:07 pm, March 04, 2015

    I have never lost faith in Rodgers. He is still the man for this job.
    I'm a big fan of Benitez but at this moment BR remains our manager and until FSG decides to get rid of him there's no point to this discussion. Even if we miss out on CL Rodgers will remain our manager.

  17. Gerrard should play. Injured or not, he's our captain and deserves to play. Also, what is this balderdash about him leaving? Give the man a blank cheque and a contract until he decides to call it in and spend some time at the dartboard. None of this 'out of form' blarney. It's the players around him that are on an inferior wavelength. Anyway, he won us a Champions League single-handed. Even the 'great' Xavi and Iniesta needed team-mates to accomplish that feat. Piffling efforts. Time to recognise what we've got.

    Oh and this is all Rodgers' fault. He replaced King Kenny. The nerve. Treasonous from the outset.

    Oh oh and Joe Allen is weak. Bring back Graeme Souness, who loves the club and was a proper hard man. Henderson can do his running for him. Just get them some string.

  18. Benitez had his chance and I loved it when he was here, apart from BR team last year the 08-09 team was one of the best in recent years.

    But it's not like he set the world alight these past few seasons but he is doing alright.

    I would prefer someone like Simeone.

    If he did come back and would dread to go back to defensive football...gets results but not very entertaining.

  19. I sure do. Thanks.

  20. And of course you're right. It makes me smile. This facilitator constantly harps on about pundits over hyping players while himself being disingenuous with the truth. This is my second post in days mentioning this, the previous one wasn't published. Wonder how this will go.

  21. Nope I don't think this one was published either.

  22. Maybe he's coming to Liverpool to take over at Everton when they just about survive relegation this season. Or maybe FSG have realised we are so poor in Europe because Rodgers, Pascoe and Marsh have no experience so bring in Rafa as a special advisor.
    Or perish the thought he is being lined up as City's new manager after Pellegrini is sacked for a barren season.
    I like Rafa and he is Liverpool to the core but Rodgers deserves credit for the way he has turned the season around, although you could say he was the reason why it needed turning around in the first place.
    Best case scenario, we finish 3rd and win the FA cup, Rodgers is a hero.
    Worst case, we finish outside the top 4, no FA cup, Rodgers is sacked.
    The dreamer in me wants the title and the FA cup and Rodgers to be Liverpool manager for a long time to come.

  23. Everton could be looking for a new manager soon and where are they?

  24. Exactly my sentiments too.

  25. Way down the ladder.

  26. I wonder if this story though has any bearing on BR's statement about being completely happy at Liverpool as reported today.

  27. Maybe as director of football...

  28. #RodgersOut ;-)

  29. stirling work bob

  30. Watching some of his fights back.Sugar Ray Robinson is my greatest boxer of all time.
    I don't really have a favourite active boxer or UFC fighter.I'm just a fan of combat sports and like to see exciting fights.

  31. An injured Ibe doing a handstand better than Markovic...