Former Newcastle United manager could make shock Premier League return
The former Magpies boss has been linked with the role on several occasions in recent months.
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Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is among the frontrunner to take over at Leicester City after the Foxes parted company with Brendan Rodgers on Sunday afternoon.
There has been speculation over the former Celtic manager’s future over the last three months as his side struggle to find form after being dragged into the Premier League relegation battle. The final straw for the Foxes board came on Saturday afternoon when Jean-Philippe Mateta’s late strike condemned Rodgers’ side to a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace and left them languishing in the bottom three.
A statement released on the club’s official website early on Sunday afternoon confirmed Rodgers had mutually agreed to leave his role after four years in charge at the King Power Stadium. It read: “Leicester City Football Club has reached a mutual agreement with Brendan Rodgers that will see him leave the Club after four years as our Men’s First Team Manager.
“Brendan departs King Power Stadium as one of the most successful managers in the Club’s history, having guided us to our long-awaited first FA Cup triumph in 2021, the FA Community Shield in the same year, two of the Club’s three highest Premier League finishes and consecutive European campaigns, including our first European semi-final in 2022.
“Assistant Manager Chris Davies and First Team Fitness Coach Glen Driscoll will also be leaving with the Club’s thanks and best wishes for their future careers. Immediate responsibility for Men’s First Team training and match preparation will be led by the Club’s long-serving First Team Coaches Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell.”
Sky Sports have reported Leicester have no replacement lined up to step into the role but former Magpies manager Benitez has immediately been installed as favourite to take over. The Spaniard has been repeatedly linked with the a role at the King Power Stadium in recent months as he looks to end his 15-month absence from the Premier League.
Benitez spoke about a potential return to management in an interview with Sky Sports in February, saying: “You need a project. I was lucky enough to manage a lot of teams and because I did that and won some trophies, I can say now ‘I don’t like this project, but I like this one’.
"I am fine and happy in England, in terms of the Premier League my family and everything. Sometimes you make decisions that are a risk but the reality is the Premier League is the best league in the world and I want to be around. You need a project that with all the experience that I and my staff have, we can use our experience to build something but the problem is the project can only be three weeks before there is pressure. So we need some time and the right project.”
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick are also among the frontrunners for the role.