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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Steven Gerrard: Rafa Benitez could return to Premier League

ESPN FC's Craig Burley is fired up following Florentino Perez's latest managerial sacking at Real Madrid.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard says that he was left saddened after hearing Real Madrid had sacked his manager at Anfield, Rafa Benitez, but believes the Spaniard could make a coaching return to the Premier League.

Benitez, 55, was relieved of his duties on Monday just seven months after taking over at the Bernabeu and has been replaced by former B team coach and legendary player Zinedine Zidane.

Gerrard enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Benitez at Liverpool, winning a Champions League and an FA Cup during the former Valencia coach's six-year reign -- a record that the midfielder believes will help the former Los Blancos boss return to the sidelines before long.

"I'm sad for Rafa because I thought he was doing a decent job at Madrid," Gerrard told reporters in Sydney ahead of Thursday's Liverpool FC Legends vs. Australia Legends exhibition match.

"But with the quality in his CV, I'm sure big clubs around the world will be trying to get Rafa Benitez because he's a wonderful manager."

Steven Gerrard & Rafael Benitez
Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez enjoyed a successful six years together at Liverpool.

The Premier League could potentially see plenty of movement among the managerial positions at the top clubs this summer. Chelsea will be looking to appoint a full-time boss once Guus Hiddink's interim spell at the helm ends, while there has been continued speculation about the futures of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini.

That is in no small part to the job status of several other elite coaches. Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday that he is leaving the German giants at the end of the season because he wants to manage in England, Jose Mourinho is available after leaving Chelsea in December and Italy boss Antonio Conte's current contract expires after this summer's European Championship.

Asked about Benitez's chances of landing a job back in the Premier League, Gerrard said: "I can [see Benitez returning to England]. I don't know what club though.

"You never know what club in the Premier League might need a manager because any club could need a manager at any given time.

"It's a brutal business with results. Clubs change their managers very quickly at the moment."

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