By Sam Stone

29th Oct, 2022 | 8:40am

Rafael Benitez would jump at Leeds United job after Jeff Stelling speculates return to Premier League management

Rafael Benitez is a contender for the Leeds United job in the eyes of Jeff Stelling – and if given the chance the Spaniard would surely jump at the chance.

The 62-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Everton in January 2022, having previously managed some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

In a recent appearance on Sky Sports News, Stelling name-checked the Spaniard along with Mauricio Pochettino when talking about who could potentially replace Jesse Marsch.

“If you look back at the start of last season, Marcelo Bielsa got 11 points in 11 games and he got the sack. If you looked at those available, Pochettino and Rafa Benitez,” he said (Sky Sports News on Tuesday, 25 October, 07:17 pm).

Benitez has recently been in the frame for the Nottingham Forest job before Steve Cooper was awarded a new deal at the City Ground and would without a doubt be eager to return to management.

However, he is not what Leeds need right now. His last two stints in the Premier League with the Toffees and Newcastle have ended in disaster.

At the moment focus needs to be on what Marsch can do with this side and whether he will be able to turn it around at Elland Road. This side have shown they can perform this season, with their emphatic win over Chelsea the highlight of the campaign.

Even recently, Leeds have had positive periods in matches, with the first half against Crystal Palace a recent highlight. If Marsch can make it through the weekend, it could well be a win-or-bust situation as newly promoted Bournemouth make the trip to Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Marsch has been told to enter quiet talks with the PGMOL after Jeff Stelling made an accusation.