Sack face: Rafa Benitez has been dismissed as Real Madrid manager

By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza

Rafael Benitez is set to be approached by Valencia to ascertain his interest in becoming the club’s new manager next season, Football Insider sources understand.

Gary Neville is under increasing pressure after the Spanish club were thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona on Wednesday night in their Copa Del Rey semi-final first leg.

Former Manchester United defender Neville and his players were greeted by hundreds of angry Valencia supporters when they returned to the club’s training base in the early hours of Thursday.

A Spain source has told Football Insider that former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Benitez, who was sacked by Real Madrid in December, is top of Valencia’s target list.

The 55-year-old Spaniard won two Spanish league titles and the Uefa Cup during a hugely successful three-year reign at the Mestalla from 2001 to 2004.

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Neville has endured a difficult time in Spain since being appointed as Valencia manager until the end of the season by Peter Lim, who has also invested in Salford City alongside the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs.

The England assistant coach has not won in eight attempts in La Liga and, in 14 matches in all competitions since taking over in early December, Neville has steered Valencia to four wins, five draws and five defeats.