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‘No chance’ – Benitez rules out Premier League return amid Everton and West Ham links

Rafael Benitez has ruled out a return to the Premier League amid reports linking him with Everton and West Ham.

The former Liverpool and Newcastle manager has been speculatively linked with the struggling Premier League duo, with Everton seeking a replacement for the sacked Marco Silva and the pressure continuing to mount on Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham.

Benitez is currently in charge of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang after deciding to leave Newcastle at the end of last season, and whilst the Spaniard admits he would be interested in a return to English football in the future, he insists he is happy with his current project in the Far East.

“Obviously in the future I would like to come back to Premier League, but at the moment I must be very clear, there is no chance I will come back now,” Benitez told Sky Sports.

“I am happy, really pleased, they trust me, we have a lot of staff working on a big project.

“We want to leave a legacy, it’s a challenge for me, and I’m learning a lot, it’s a great experience, and I’m quite happy at the moment.”

Benitez spent six successful seasons on Merseyside with Liverpool, winning the Champions League and FA Cup and remains a popular figure around Anfield, however, the 59-year-old refused to rule out a future move to local rivals Everton, admitting he maintains a strong connection with the city and its people.

“I have Liverpool connections, that’s very clear. But at the same time we are involved in the city, we have lots of friends in the city, Evertonians and Liverpudlians.

“I don’t have any problem with the fans or the people there. I have a very good connection with the city.

“At the moment, I can’t come back to the Premier League, but we’ll see. In the future, you never know. I’m a professional.”

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