Newcastle United have been inundated with interest from managers about replacing Rafa Benitez, we understand.
Benitez is playing hardball with the Magpies over his new deal, in an attempt to garner a bigger transfer budget.
The Spaniard has been given more and more control by owner Mike Ashley in the last 18 months, but he has found his funds limited and he has made that known.
Now before going any further with transfer targets for the summer, Ashley wants Benitez to sign his new deal – with personal terms, which continue to make Benitez one of the best paid bosses in the Premier League – agreed months ago.
Newcastle have told Benitez they want the deal signing by the end of the season, but any concerns they would have of finding a new boss has been dismissed as clubs insiders have confirmed a host of names have contacted them – knowing they could be looking for a new manager.
At this stage, Newcastle’s sole intention is to extend Benitez at the helm and find an agreement over a new deal.
However, we can now reveal that a number of ‘big names’ have made it clear via their agents that they would be keen. Amongst those believed to be keen is Lyon boss Bruno Genesio, who has already confirmed he will be leaving the club this summer, and Dutchman Fred Rutten – who has recently left Anderlecht.
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