Benitez has major Everton regret as ex-Liverpool boss ‘set for talks’ at Toffees

With former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez reportedly set for talks with Everton to take over their vacant managerial position, it has emerged that the Spaniard has some regrets over previous comments about the Toffees.

The Daily Mail report that Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri was keen on Benitez after talks with previous candidate Nuno Espirito Santo have proven to be difficult.

Benitez, meanwhile, has been out of work since leaving Dalian Professional and has been linked to several clubs in England and Italy.

It would seem as though a move to Merseyside would be convenient for him, seeing as his family have lived there since the former Real Madrid and Newcastle manager was at Liverpool.

He may have some trouble getting on with the fans at the start, though, as his previous comments will come to light.

Back in 2007, when Benitez’s Liverpool went up against David Moyes’ Everton, they played out a goalless draw at Anfield, leaving the Champions League-winning manager frustrated.

"I was really disappointed because one team wanted to win the game and one team didn't want to lose it," said the Reds manager, who had also referred to Everton as "smaller" before the match.

"Everton put eight or nine men behind the ball and defended deep but that's what small clubs do.

"When a team comes to Anfield and only want a point what else can you call them but a small club?"

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Moyes then accused Benitez of lacking humility, making the financial differences between the two clubs clear, and Benitez was even criticised by other figures at the two clubs.

In 2019, on Monday Night Football alongside ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, Benitez admitted he regretted his comments.

"I made a mistake when I said it was a small club.

"What I wanted to say was they are a small team because in this game I remember they had one chance.

"Liverpool fans were happy and the Evertonians were upset. But I didn't want to say they were a small club, I wanted to say they were a small team.”

Everton have been in the search for a new manager since the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, who left for Real Madrid after just over 18 months in charge at Goodison Park.

Along with Benitez and Nuno, names such as Graham Potter and Eddie Howe have been linked to the club.

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