18 months after his contract expired at St James’ Park, Rafa Benitez is now being tipped to land the Derby County job – with his odds dropping from 25/1 to just 4/1 over the past 24 hours.
The club looks all set for a big-money takeover via the Bin Zayed Group – who infamously tried to buy Newcastle in 2018 – with Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan expected to seal a £60m buyout next week.
This all comes after former PSV star Phillip Cocu was sacked at Pride Park last week following an abysmal start to the season, which has left them rock bottom of the Championship table.
As for Rafa, he’s just finished his second season with Dalian Pro and was the man the BZG were reportedly ready to back when they were infamously ‘closing in’ on a £300m takeover on Tyneside.
Benitez still has one more year left on his contract in China, however the Derby Telegraph state that ‘whispers have increased over recent days that he would be interested in a return to Europe’.
Here’s the list of favourites to become the new Derby County boss:
- Wayne Rooney – 7/4
- John Terry – 3/1
- Rafa Benitez – 4/1
- Danny Cowley – 8/1
- Eddie Howe – 12/1
- Paul Cook – 14/1
- Steve Cooper – 16/1
- Garry Monk – 20/1
- Steve Gerrard – 25/1
It would take BIG money to buy Benitez out of his current contract at Dalian – with him reportedly on a whopping £12m-per-year – so time will tell whether if the BZG really are serious about bringing him back to England.
Not only that, would he really drop down to the Championship again to take over a side bottom of the table?
I’m sure they’d love him to, but I have my doubts.