Rafa Benitez is in talks with Serie A side Sampdoria to become their new manager, club owner Riccardo Garrone revealed today.

Samp are looking to replace coach Giuseppe Iachini this summer and the former Liverpool tactician is the number one candidate to take his place.

"There have been contacts with Benitez," Garrone said to Sky Italia. "But it's a work in progress."

Iachini took over the Genoa outfit last November and led the team to promotion to Serie A via the play-offs last month.

He is under contract with Samp for another season.

Benitez, meanwhile, has been out of work since being sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010.