Rafael Benitez has insisted that he is “happy” with his current role as manager of Dalian Yifang and ruled out an immediate return to the Premier League.
Having left Newcastle in the summer after failing to agree an extension with Magpies owner Mike Ashley, Benitez took up a job at the Chinese Super League side on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Recent reports have linked the Spaniard with a move back to the English top flight with Arsenal, who are looking for a permanent successor Benitez’s compatriot Unai Emery following his sacking just over a week ago.
However, speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Benitez made it clear he is not yet considering a return to the league where he is renowned for his work with Liverpool.
“Obviously in the future I would like to come back to the Premier League because I like the league but at the moment I can be very clear and I must be very clear,” the 59-year-old said.
“There is no chance that I would come back now because I am really happy and really pleased. They trust me, we have a lot of staff working in a big, big project.
“People will say that the league is different – yes it’s different, it’s another level but Dalian Yifang is a massive company and they want to change everything.
“They want to create a structure. We are in charge of the kids from six years old until the first team, so then we want to leave a legacy and it’s a challenge for me.
“So I am learning a lot, it’s a great experience and I’m quite happy at the moment.”
Everton are also on the hunt for a new permanent boss following Marco Silva’s departure, although interim boss Duncan Ferguson is enjoying a much better start to life in his role than Arsenal counterpart Freddie Ljungberg.
Ferguson masterminded a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday in a day he hailed as “unbelievable”, with Ljungberg failing to win either of his first two matches against Norwich and Brighton respectively.
In fact, the Gunners headed into Monday night’s clash with West Ham on their worst run in 42 years, having not win in nine games.