Sampdoria have revealed they have begun negotiations to bring Rafael Benitez to the club as head coach as they return to Serie A.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia on Tuesday, Sampdoria owner Riccardo Garrone admitted that Benitez had been contacted and that there was an on-going discussion about recruiting the Spaniard.
“Benitez? We are discussing this matter,” Garrone said.
“We are currently in a phase where it’s still a work in progress.”
Garrone also claimed that Benitez was interested in leading Sampdoria, who returned to Italy’s top division after just one season in Serie B.
“There’s an interest from his side, too,” Garrone said.
“However, there’s nothing concrete as of yet.”
Garrone’s statement comes just days after Sampdoria’s current coach Beppe Iachini revealed his disappointment that the Genoa-based club were trying to hire Benitez.
Iachini took over as Sampdoria coach during last season, steering them from mid-table up to a playoff spot and, subsequently, promotion to Serie A.
“I was really let down, I will admit, as I didn’t expect this,” Iachini said.
“I think the club is evaluating its options but I never had problems with the directors or owners.
“I hope to lead Sampdoria into Serie A, as I think I earned that chance.”
It has been reported that Iachini’s contract contained a clause that meant it was automatically renewed if he got Sampdoria into Serie A.
Benitez has not worked as a head coach since he was sacked by Inter Milan in 2010.
The former Valencia and Liverpool boss led Inter for 25 matches with a winning ratio of 48 percent.
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