Struggling Nottingham Forest could appoint ex-Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez – report

Close-up shot of Rafael Benitez
(Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Image)

Nottingham Forest (opens in new tab) have reportedly earmarked ex-Liverpool (opens in new tab) and Chelsea (opens in new tab) boss Rafael Benitez as a potential successor for under-fire Steve Cooper.

Forest lost 4-0 away to local rivals Leicester (opens in new tab) on Monday night, a result which pushed them to the bottom of the Premier League table. It was their fifth defeat on the bounce.

That's left the future of Cooper – who last season led Forest back to the top flight after 23 years away – in severe doubt.

Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper during Leicester City 4-0 Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on 3 October, 2022 at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, United Kingdom

Cooper's side have conceded 21 goals in eight league games this season (Image credit: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

According to The Guardian (opens in new tab), Benitez, 62, is one coach being considered by Forest as their next boss. The report adds that Sean Dyche – who's been out of work since being sacked by Burnley (opens in new tab) in April – is also a possibility.

Benitez most recently managed in the Premier League with Everton (opens in new tab), where he was sacked in January after a run of 11 defeats in 15 games saw the Toffees get sucked into the relegation scrap.

Close-up shot of Rafael Benitez

Benitez lasted just 22 games as Everton manager (Image credit: George Wood/Getty Images)

Most famously, of course, the Spaniard led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 with that win over AC Milan (opens in new tab) in Istanbul.

He went on to take charge of Inter Milan (opens in new tab), Chelsea, Napoli (opens in new tab), Real Madrid (opens in new tab), Newcastle (opens in new tab), and Chinese outfit Dalian Professional – before his appointment by Everton in June last year.

Were Benitez to take over at Forest, he would become the two-time European Cup winners' 23rd permanent manager (24th if you include both of Billy Davies' stints in the City Ground dugout) since the retirement of Brian Clough 29 years ago.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...