Rafa Benitez set to sign deal to become Everton’s new manager this weekend


Rafa Benitez set to sign historic deal to become Everton’s new manager THIS WEEKEND – with Farhad Moshiri turning to Liverpool legend despite fans’ furious backlash

  • Everton are now closing in on appointing Rafa Benitez as their new manager 
  • Benitez is set to sign his deal this weekend to seal his Premier League return 
  • Farhad Moshiri believes Benitez can lead Everton into the Champions League 
  • The decision comes despite a fierce backlash from supporters in recent days
  • Having managed Liverpool, Benitez will prove an unpopular choice for some 

Rafa Benitez is on the verge of an extraordinary return to the Premier League by signing a deal with Everton this weekend, making him the first man in modern history to manage at both Liverpool and Everton.

Owner Farhad Moshiri is convinced that Benitez, who is considered among the most-iconic former Liverpool managers having won the Champions League for the club in 2005, is the best coach to take Everton into the Champions League and is ready to ignore the objections of some Evertonians who object to the club appointing such a revered Liverpool manager.

Not since William Edward Barclay in the 1890s, who was part of the original foundation of Everton and then the later breakaway Liverpool club, has anyone crossed the city divide to manage both clubs.

Rafa Benitez will sign his deal to become Everton's new boss this weekend despite a backlash

Rafa Benitez will sign his deal to become Everton’s new boss this weekend despite a backlash

Moshiri and Benitez have met and are both enthused with the idea of turning Everton into a Champions League team. Assuming the last contractual details can be tied up, an announcement will be made next week.

Moshiri’s business partner, Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian billionaire who sponsors Everton, is also supportive and the pair have received glowing testimonials on Benitez from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who rates Benitez among the best managers he has employed.

The appointment will mark a dramatic comeback for Benitez, who last managed in the Premier League with Newcastle in 2019. 

Owner Farhad Moshiri (above) believes Benitez can lead the club into the Champions League

Owner Farhad Moshiri (above) believes Benitez can lead the club into the Champions League

The appointment has resulted in a backlash from fans because of Benitez's days with Liverpool

The appointment has resulted in a backlash from fans because of Benitez’s days with Liverpool

Having fallen out with owner Mike Ashley, he declined to renew his contract and instead became manager of Dalian in China from 2019 until early this year.

The chaotic circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic made that an unsatisfactory experience, though Benitez started a huge project of setting up academies and driving the growth of football in the southern Chinese city and has maintained good relations with the owners.

Benitez has retained his family home in Merseyside throughout his managerial career since leaving Liverpool in 2010. 

Apart from winning the FA Cup and Champions League with Liverpool and La Liga twice and UEFA Cup with Valencia prior to that, he went on to win the World Club Cup with Internazionale, the Europa League with Chelsea, the Coppa Italia with Napoli and the Championship with Newcastle. 

The 61-year-old former Liverpool manager is close to being appointed as Everton boss

The confirmation is expected next week, once the last details of Benitez’s contract are sorted

Everton supporters have made their feelings on Benitez clear through homemade messages

Everton supporters have made their feelings on Benitez clear through homemade messages

Moshiri has made it clear that winning trophies and ultimately Champions League qualification are the priorities.

Benitez is expected to bring in trusted fitness expert Paco de Miguel and retain Duncan Ferguson and plans will start next week on refresh the squad, with significant transfer funds expected to be available.

Everton have been searching for a manager since Carlo Ancelotti left at the beginning of the month to re-join Real Madrid.

Part of the reason for Benitez’s unpopularity with Everton fans stems from comments made in 2007 about them being a ‘small club’.

After a goalless draw with Everton at Anfield, then Liverpool boss Benitez said: ‘I was really disappointed because one team wanted to win the game and one team didn’t want to lose it.

‘Everton put eight or nine men behind the ball and defended deep but that’s what small clubs do.

‘When a team comes to Anfield and only want a point what else can you call them but a small club?’

As Liverpool manager, Benitez described Everton as a 'small club' following a match in 2007

As Liverpool manager, Benitez described Everton as a ‘small club’ following a match in 2007

Benitez attempted to clarify the comments when speaking to Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football last year.

He said: ‘I made a mistake when I said it was a small club. What I wanted to say was they are a small team because in the game I remember they had one chance.

‘Liverpool fans they were happy and the Evertonians were upset. But I didn’t want to say they were a small club, I wanted to say they were a small team.

‘Some Evertonians, they come to me and say about what I did for the city, we have the charity, and all these things, so I have a very good connection with the city, not just the Liverpool fans.’