Rafael Benitez responds directly to Arsenal manager job links

Arsenal managerial target Rafael Benitez looks on while working in China
Benitez has been linked with Arsenal (Picture: Visual China Group via Getty Images)

Rafa Benitez dismissed speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League with Arsenal and insists he is happy in China.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager is currently working with Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang but was tipped as a potential candidate to replace Unai Emery at the Emirates.

Emery was sacked by Arsenal chiefs after a poor start to the season, with Freddie Ljungberg taking charge on an interim basis.

Freddie Ljungberg issues instructions to Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette
Ljungberg is in charge on a temporary basis (Picture: Getty)

Ljungberg’s reign has got off to a slow start, with Arsenal drawing with Norwich before losing to Brighton, and the Gunners are thought to be stepping up their chase for a new manager.

But Benitez has ruled himself out of contention, insisting he will see his contract through in China.

Asked directly by Sky Sports if he would replace Emery as Arsenal manager, he firmly responded: ‘At the moment, it’s a no.

‘In the future I would like to come back to the Premier League but at the moment I must be very clear: there is no chance that I will come back now because I’m really happy, really pleased, they trust me, we have a lot of staff working in a big, big project.

‘People will say the league is different. Yes, it’s different. We want to leave a legacy, it’s a challenge for me. I’m quite happy at the moment.’

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