Former Liverpool manager and Anfield great Rafa Benitez has turned down Real Madrid twice, as revealed by his agent Manuel Garcia Quilon, as reported by the Daily Express.
Quilon has claimed that Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, personally flew over to England in order to try and tempt Benitez into moving to the Santiago Bernabeu during his time at Anfield, when he aided Liverpool in winning the Champions League in 2005.
There was another offer by Real to Benitez, although this was scuppered by him signing a new deal with the Merseyside club. Instead, Real turned to the now Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who won the Premier League with the Manchester club last season.
His agent told Calcio Napoli 24: “Rafa was for two consecutive years given the chance to become coach of Real Madrid.
“We received a very interesting proposal from the Blancos five years ago and the year before that.
“In order to convince him to accept the offer, Florentino Perez flew out in person with a private jet to England.
“He tried, without success, to convince Rafa’s wife Montse to follow her husband in this new adventure.
“However, as Rafa had just renewed his contract with Liverpool and is a man of his word, he turned down the offer from his beloved Real Madrid despite the fact that it was the best economic and sporting proposal he’d ever received.”
Benitez left Anfield to be replaced by Roy Hodgson, and has since gone on to manage the likes of Inter Milan and Chelsea, where he won the Europa League.
He is currently in charge of Italian side Napoli.