Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has played down talk linking Rafa Benitez with the Celtic job, insisting that his compatriot’s priority is to remain at Newcastle.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, the Barcelona-born pundit responded to a question asking if Benitez would be interested in the Celtic role by suggesting that the former Liverpool and Napoli boss was not looking to leave the English Premier League - even if he was forced out of St James’ Park.
Balague said: “The priority is to stay at Newcastle. The kind of offers he [gets], which are like €10 million net a year, come from Saudi Arabia and China, which I don’t think are the places he should go next.
“The battle is to stay at Newcastle, if he gets enough support.
“If he doesn’t stay at Newcastle I think the Premier League will be the competition he would like to stay in. I think that will be the target.
“Another matter is which club will actually go for him. I don’t believe there’s been offers yet in that department.
“But that’s where it all stands – he wants to stay in the Premier League. The Premier League is his big target.”
Last month, Benitez’s odds on taking over at Parkhead were slashed, going from 20/1 to 5/1 in just 24 hours following a flurry of bets on the move.
However, it looks as though the 59-year-old is unlikely to make the move north of the Border, if Balague’s comments are anything to go by.