NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 4, 2019: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez before the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rafa Benitez’s next club confirmed – will manage ex-Liverpool striker

Rafa Benitez has taken up his first job since being sacked by Everton 17 months ago, and he will be managing an ex-Liverpool striker next season.

Benitez has been out of work since his dismissal from Goodison Park at the start of 2022, having overseen 10 defeats in his side’s previous 15 games.

The Spaniard has taken a deliberate break, revealing in an interview with the BBC Football Daily podcast in February that he had turned down “nearly 20 offers from national teams and countries.”

His preference was to stay in the Premier League, though it has now been confirmed that the 63-year-old will take charge of Celta Vigo after they announced an agreement in principle.

He will, then, instead return to Spain for the first time since 2016, when his short spell in charge of Real Madrid ended.

Celta Vigo finished 13th in LaLiga last season, with Carlos Carvalhal departing the club at the end of the campaign by mutual consent.

Benitez’s squad will include former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas, who has enjoyed the last eight years back with his boyhood club having spent two seasons away at Anfield and then Sevilla.

Aspas is regarded as a legend at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos, which is a stark contrast to the reputation forged in his sole campaign on Merseyside.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2013: Liverpool's Iago Aspas in action against Aston Villa during the Premiership match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Among his team-mates, at least currently, is Spain under-21s midfielder Gabri Veiga, though he is expected to depart this summer with Liverpool among his suitors.

Celta Vigo’s highest LaLiga finish in recent years is sixth, which they achieved in 2015/16 to replicate their success in 1970/71.

Their most notable honours are three Segunda Division titles and the Intertoto Cup, which they beat Zenit Saint Petersburg to win in 2000 – having seen off Aston Villa along the way.