By 90Min
September 30, 2017

Rafael Benitez has refused to rule out a romantic reunion with Liverpool in the future ahead of his Newcastle side's showdown with Jurgen Klopp's charges.

The Spaniard enjoyed a six-year spell in charge at Anfield - a period that saw Liverpool secure four trophies including the 2005 Champions League - before his departure in June 2010.

Benitez will be tasked with picking up a huge three points over his former team on Sunday at St.James' Park but, asked by the Daily Mail if he harboured hopes of taking up the reins there again, the 57-year-old opted to remain coy.

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He said: "I don't want to say that (I will go back). I am happy here, I want to do well here and I wish Jurgen Klopp a lot of success. It is all in the future, but I don't want any 'Rafa wants to go back'. Nothing like that, because I am happy here and I want to do well here."

Pressed further on the issue, however, and Benitez did appear to suggest that he may be open to a Liverpool managerial return - if the opportunity ever arose to do so.

He remarked: "The job? It is quite difficult because I have been in Italy, or Madrid, or moving around. It hasn't come at the right time.

"I didn't have too many chances to go back. It is football so you never know. I am getting older but for a manager, I am still a young manager, so we'll see what happens."

Benitez still lives in nearby Cheshire and must commute to and from his home to the north east as he plots a way to keep the Magpies in England's top flight.

The ex-Real Madrid, Valencia and Napoli manager is held in high esteem by the Reds' faithful, and Benitez added that the feeling was mutual given his love for the Merseysiders.

He said: "In a short period we were doing so well, so the love was there, because we were working so hard and winning.

"Then after, we had a charity and a great relationship with the Hillsborough families, we gave them a donation. So a lot of things with the fans, the club and the city."

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