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Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez will not sign with Celtic

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It’s pretty easy to explain why.

Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

I’d rather avoid being extremely blunt at the expense of diehard Celtic football fans. Celtic is an amazing club with fantastic supporters and great players. But it’s in too easy of a league for a manager of Rafa Benitez’s caliber. It’s also an easy club to win with. To put this in perspective, the last time a club other than Celtic or Rangers won in Scotland was Aberdeen in 1984-1985.

Brendan Rodgers struggled with his previous clubs to gain a solid footing. The highlight of his career was with Liverpool, and that was very short-lived. At this point, he’s still one of the younger managers in the Premier League and certainly shouldn’t be considered a journeyman just yet, but that’s almost what it appeared his career would be. If it weren’t for the easy winning ability of Celtic, Rodgers would never have been qualified to take the Leicester City job.

When Rafa says he wants to compete for trophies, he’s looking for something more than the Scottish Premiership. He’s not going to compete for the UEFA Champions League with Celtic, nor is he going to win a serious domestic trophy in the form of the FA Cup.

If Rafa were given the job at Celtic, he’d be handed next year’s Scottish Premiership. He may manage a decent run in international competition, but it’s not a challenge for him in the domestic league. Really, it would seem that Rafa is still chasing the one trophy he’s been seemingly missing out on for his entire career. That’s winning the Premier League. He missed out with Liverpool, and never truly had a proper chance with Chelsea.

Rafa’s every intention is to remain with Newcastle United, and it appear that a one year deal may be on the cards to give Mike Ashley one last opportunity to make his promises come to life. That’s been Benitez’s intention all along. The idea that he’s given Celtic any thought is laughable to me. His intention is to remain with Newcastle or remain in the Premier League. Everton had been hot on his trail since Newcastle’s relegation in 2016. Manchester United were linked with being interested. With both Arsenal and Chelsea having troubles, it’s easy to see them both being interested in signing and backing the legendary Spanish manager.

The point here is that Celtic can’t offer Benitez what he wants. There were reports that his wages would be too high, but that’s not even the focus. They don’t compete in a competition that has the trophies that he desires. He’s also looking for a club to improve, and going to a club that’s already winning defeats that purpose.

Celtic are an amazing club. They have millions of supporters around the world, and their support base is truly unique. They’re constantly winning trophies, and their players are immensely talented. But they’re already winning, and in a league that simply doesn’t offer the competition that Rafa is looking for.