Rafael Benitez is reported to have reached a formal agreement with Newcastle chiefs to stay on as manager of the freshly-relegated Tynesiders.
Benitez has an escape clause in his contract which allows him to leave Tyneside, and had been expected by many to depart after failing to guide the Magpies to safety.
However, ever since their Championship status was confirmed there have been rumours that Benitez may be prepared to stay on to try and take Newcastle back up to the Premier League.
After the 5-1 win over Tottenham on the final day, the Spaniard said that his heart was telling him to stay on, and the Daily Mail now report that he has made a verbal agreement to stick with it.
Benitez is also working on Newcastle’s transfer targets for next season, with head scout Graham Carr told not to come back after the summer break.
Jamie Carragher spoke after the final day on what a huge coup it would be for Newcastle to persuade Benitez to see out his contract:
“The players Newcastle bought in January aren’t necessarily the players that (Benitez) would have wanted. There was only Townsend out of those signings, who did anything.
“I think he’s got a big decision to make. Ideally he doesn’t want to be managing in the Championship but I think Newcastle would have got into him in terms of the reaction of the fans, It was similar to the Liverpool fans’ reaction when he went there.
“They were struggling in games but they were chanting his name. It’s a bit like Newcastle can’t keep believe they have got a manager at that level. It’s that they can’t believe this manager who was managing Real Madrid and Ronaldo wants to manage Newcastle.
“It would be unbelievable for them if he stayed. You can’t believe a manager of that stature would manage at that level but he’s got to be thinking if he can do that in 12 months and get them out, (he’ll be thinking about) the money and the revenue in the Premier League and how far he can then take Newcastle.”