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Sampdoria keen on Rafa

Reports that Rafael Benitez could take charge of newly promoted Serie A side Sampdoria persist despite his agent's denial.

Giuseppe Iachini, who led the club to promotion at the first attempt, is seemingly set to lose his job, and Benitez, who has been out of work since being sacked as Inter Milan boss in December 2010, has been linked with the position in the Italian press.

His agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, dismissed the speculation. "There is nothing with Sampdoria. Nothing at all - 100%," he said. "I repeat: there's no chance. Benitez is currently in England, and his intention is to coach in the Premier League."

However, sporting director Pasquale Sensibile met an associate of Benitez in London earlier this week and said on Tuesday: "We have to wait a couple of days. For now it is only an idea, although it is a nice idea. The meeting with this person was a way to understand if this idea and this dream can become a reality.

"We have some more hope. I am moderately optimistic because I have noted that many ideas are similar, but right now the deal has not yet started."

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who led Samp from 1992 to 1997, feels Benitez would be a fine appointment. "He's the right man to take my old team to the top," Eriksson said. "That a good thing because Sampdoria should always be contenders."

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