Valencia have already been in touch with Rafa Benitez

The former Real Madrid boss might be making a return to the club he lead to the La Liga title

Rafa Benitez, Valencia, Real Madrid,

Image: Alberto Saiz / AP/Press Association Images

The pressure is on Gary Neville after a bad start to his career in management at Valencia, which was topped off by a hammering at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday night in the Copa del Rey. 

The final score of the game was a 7-0 drubbing, although it could have easily been a lot more given that Neymar missed a penalty and Messi, among other players, missed chances that you would have expected them to put away on any other day. 

Despite that, the end result still did not make pleasant reading for Neville or his players, and the pressure on him was growing in the post-match press conference after he was repeatedly asked about his future

According to Spanish sports daily AS, Valencia's sporting director Jesús García Pitarch has already been in contact with former manager Rafael Benítez's agent Manuel García Quirón in recent weeks.

Benítez was recently fired by Real Madrid and replaced by Zinedine Zidane but was warmly welcomed back by the fans earlier this season as he led los blancos out in the Mestalla.

Part of the reason Pitarch has been looking to get in contact with the former Liverpool boss is his history of success at the club and his relationship with the fans there, given that the mood has soured in recent weeks among supporters.

Reports claim that while Neville is secure for the moment and has no intention of resigning, the ideal situation for all parties would be that the Manchester man keeps them afloat in the league, sees out his contract (which runs until June), and then departs the club, leaving the door open for Rafa to return in the summer.

However, AS also note that, should relegation become a real threat (Valencia are currently 12th, but only five points off the drop), they may be forced into action sooner than that, with Salvador González Voro and Curro Torres, who trains the 'B' team, being the most realistic short-term options.

Via AS