Rafael Benitez keen for return to Premier League

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he would like to return to English football after his ill-fated seven-month spell in charge of Inter Milan.

Benitez spent six years at Anfield before moving to Italy in the summer and his family are still on Merseyside.

“The priority is the Premier League,” the Spaniard told BBC Radio 5 live.

“To have a project, a business plan, a methodology of what you want to do and how to improve a club. It has to be a good club.”

During Benitez’s time in charge, Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup in 2006, while they were Champions League runners-up in 2007 and Premier League runners-up in 2008-09.

But last season they finished seventh in the top flight, missing out on a spot in the Champions League.

Benitez left Anfield by mutual consent in June, and within a week was hired by European champions Inter to succeed Jose Mourinho, following his move to Real Madrid.

But Benitez’s time at the San Siro was brief and, although he guided the team to success in the Italian Super Cup and World Club Championship, disappointing performances in the Champions League and Italian league saw him axed two days before Christmas.

Liverpool’s fortunes have hardly improved since Benitez’s departure from Anfield, with Roy Hodgson’s brief and unsuccessful reign leading to Kenny Dalglish being appointed manager until the end of the season.

But Benitez said he had confidence Dalglish could revive the Reds’ fortunes.

“It will be much better with Kenny because he knows the club and what the fans want,” he added.

Dalglish racked up eight league titles as a player and a manager with Liverpool between 1977 and 1991.

“He can talk with the players and they will feel and understand what it means to be a Liverpool player,” added Benitez.

606: DEBATE
When Rafa was sacked he is on record as saying his replacement should be Kenny Dalglish. As ever the great board we had at the time thought his opinion wasn’t worth listening to.

Redinthehead- we didnt finish 13th FGS

“I think that Kenny has been a very good appointment and hopefully, it will be successful.”

Benitez has been criticised in some quarters for the quality of the squad he left behind but the Spaniard defended his transfer policy during his spell at Anfield.

“We know that we made some mistakes,” said Benitez. “We are not happy with some of the signings.

“But we are really pleased with the majority of them, especially if you analyse the team now. Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Lucas, Fernando Torres, Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt. It is a massive team.

“The team is good, the value of the squad is really good and we were making mistakes but [also] signing fantastic players.

“We signed Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia, Javier Mascherano and Yossi Benayoun and we had to sell if we wanted to buy new players.”