Rafa Benitez agrees deal to become new Celta Vigo manager


Celta Vigo and Rafa Benitez have tentatively agreed on terms for the Spanish club to reveal on Friday.

Benitez, 63, replaces Carlos Carvalhal, who left the team earlier this month by mutual consent, in the vacant managerial role. The Spanish manager has reached an agreement that will keep him with the team through June 2026.

Real Club Celta and Rafa Benitez have “reached an agreement in principle,” according to a statement from the club, “so that the Madrid-born coach can lead the team in this very special year and two more campaigns.” Both parties are sure that the signing will happen in July, just before the team’s preseason kicks off.

Since being fired by Everton in January 2022 after only six and a half months in charge, Benitez had been without a job.

The best-known accomplishment of the former Valencia coach in England is winning the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.

Additionally, he led Newcastle United to Premier League promotion in 2017 and Chelsea to the Europa League championship in 2013.

Benitez has previously managed Inter Milan, Napoli, and Chinese Super League team Dalian Professional. With Valencia, he won two LaLiga championships and a UEFA Cup. Although Real Madrid released him of his duties six months after he took over as manager in the summer of 2015, he last served as a coach in Spain.

Having led Celta to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona on the final day of the regular season, Benitez inherits a team that avoided relegation. Three points ahead of Real Valladolid, who were relegated, the team placed 13th in the standings.

The club’s centennial will be the focus of the 2023–24 season.