Reliable journalist Richard Keys has claimed that former Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez tried to leave the club twice previously in order to take charge of Premier League rivals Everton.

The Spanish manager left the Magpies during the summer and has since taken charge of Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang.

Benitez was offered the chance to remain with the Toon Army but opted for a change of scenery as the club repeatedly made him false promises over the manner in which they would back him in the transfer market.

Keys made his controversial Newcastle claim while discussing the Premier League sack race.

Everton boss Marco Silva is under pressure after a torrid run of form for the Merseysiders over the last month.

The Goodison Park outfit, who are surely aiming to challenge for a top-six position this season, have endured a miserable start to the season and are currently languishing in the relegation zone.

Keys also added that former Newcastle man Benitez would be willing to vacate his position in China in order to take up the Everton managerial role.

The Spaniard is a tactically astute manager and has the potential to bring success to Goodison Park.

“Don’t believe he wouldn’t take it,”  wrote Keys on his personal blog. 

“He tried twice to get it when he was at Newcastle – before Sam [Allardyce] and Silva.

“He’d walk back from China for it. Rafa doesn’t do ‘emotion’ – as he proved when he went to Chelsea.

“He does what he believes is right for himself. He always has. Ask Mike Ashley.

“If Newcastle fans are wondering why I’m suggesting Rafa – let me explain.

“Never have I said he isn’t a good coach. We all know he is.

“What irritated me about his time at Newcastle was the constant moaning. He knew the deal. So get on with it.

“Despite being told time and again that he’d walk into one of the world’s top jobs on leaving Newcastle I said he wouldn’t. He didn’t.

“He had the best job he was ever going to get in England – unless Everton are brave enough.”

If such a move does happen, it is something that Everton fans can be excited about.

It however does remain to be seen whether Benitez would be willing to vacate the riches that he is earning in the Far-East for a return to the Premier League.

The other controversy is the fact that the former Newcastle manager also had a prolonged spell with Everton’s bitter Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

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