Ex-Liverpool boss Benitez on radar of Aston Villa chiefs
Benítez mentioned as a likely replacement should Gérard Houllier fail to make a successful recovery from his health problems.
The Telegraph says conversations had actually taken place at the club about whether he was fit to continue beyond the end of the season prior to his admission to Queen Elizabeth Hospital last Wednesday.
The team's dismal performances had of course been taken into consideration but, crucially, a concern about his ability to cope with the pressures of modern management were voiced even before he suffered a dissection of the descending aorta, a condition for which he required immediate hospitalisation.
Benítez's name has come up in discussions inside the dressing room, with members of the coaching staff suggesting the former Liverpool manager, out of work since being dismissed by Inter Milan last December, features high on the club's list of possible replacements.