Benitez in the running for City job

Benitez in the running for City job

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Ex-Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has been linked as a potential replacement for Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, according to reports in the Daily Star.

Pellegrini is under increasing pressure at the Etihad, after an abysmal run of form which includes a run of six defeats in the last eight games – the last of which coming in the form of a 4-2 derby defeat to neighbours Manchester United.

Many in the blue half of Manchester have called for the Chilean to go, with the club’s title hopes all but extinguished with the club now languishing in fourth place.

With the 62-year old likely to be axed by City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak soon, Spaniard Benitez has emerged as a shock possible replacement.

The ex-Chelsea and Liverpool manager is coming to the end of his time at Serie A outfit Napoli, and is looking to leave the club this summer. With this in mind, City are looking to offer him a short-term deal.

Current champions City are rumoured to have Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola on the top of their shortlist, but the former Barcelona manager may make City wait until 2016 when his contract at Bayern runs out. Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti and Patrick Viera are also on the club’s shortlist, but Viera is seen as a risk.

This means that Benitez could be offered a 12-month deal at the Manchester side. He took on a similar role at the Blues in 2012, during which time he won the Europa League Final.

The 54-year old still has a house in Merseyside, near Liverpool, where he spent six years in charge and won the Champions League and the FA Cup.

He has made no secret of his desire to work in the Premier League again, if given the chance.