Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez was proposed to Bournemouth as a surprise potential option to succeed Jason Tindall, before the Cherries appointed Jonathan Woodgate.
Benitez recently left his last managerial role with Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, and with Bournemouth looking for a new manager the Spaniard’s name was floated around to the club by intermediaries. While the Cherries were also reportedly considering the likes of Thierry Henry, John Terry and Patrick Vieira, per the Daily Mail.
The Cherries eventually decided to hand the role over to Woodgate until the end of the campaign. The former Middlesbrough manager had guided the club through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and picked up a few decent results in the Championship as temporary boss. However, the club have dropped out of the top-six after a loss against play-off rivals Cardiff City.
It has emerged that Benitez would have turned down the job had been offered it by Bournemouth with the Spaniard not having wanted to return to management so soon after his spell in China, per the Daily Mail. That might be a potential reason why the decision was made to hand the job to Woodgate.
Benitez would have been a very surprising appointment for Bournemouth to have made, but would also have been an excellent one. The Spaniard breezed through the Championship with Newcastle in the 2016/17 season guiding the Magpies to the title and promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking. That is something he could have repeated with the Cherries.
However, Benitez was not ready for that kind of challenge at this stage, but the fact he was offered to a Championship club suggests he is not against the idea of making his return to England in the English second tier. Bournemouth now have to focus their attention on getting back into the top six under Woodgate.
The former Middlesbrough manager has managed to win three and draw one of his five league matches in charge, but after losing to Cardiff the Cherries are now out of the top six and having to play catch up to ensure they make the play-offs. Not making the top-six would represent a poor campaign given the quality in their squad.