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Rafael Benitez in the running for Russian national job


Wednesday 11 July 2012 11:37 BST
Benitez needs to know Sampdoria's transfer budget
Benitez needs to know Sampdoria's transfer budget (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Rafael Benitez is interested in the role of Russia coach with a meeting already planned with the national federation.

Benitez faces fierce competition for the role with the former England manager Fabio Capello and ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola among 13 high-profile candidates for the job published yesterday by the Russian Football Union (RFU). The list also includes former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, former Italy coach Marcello Lippi and Argentine Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Liverpool manager won the Champions League and Uefa Cup at Anfield and the La Liga title with Valencia. He recently turned down Sampdoria's advances because of the club's lack of immediate resources.

But the Spaniard, eager to get back into the game since leaving Internazionale in December 2010, appears ready to leave Merseyside to become the new head coach of Russia.

Phil Smith, Redknapp's agent, said his client was also open to negotiations. "Would Harry have a problem coming to Russia? No. He'll live in any country, especially as big as Russia. I think such an offer would definitely interest him if it came, but so far, we haven't heard anything about it."

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