Everton have been sent a dire warning after a report revealed Newcastle United still harbour hopes of re-appointing Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle remain on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Steve Bruce last week. With their Saudi backers making them the world’s richest club, the Magpies are seeking an appointment worthy of their newfound riches.
A plethora of candidates have been touted with the managerial race looking no closer to finishing any time soon.
Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca and ex-Dortmund manager Lucien Favre are two names that have ascended to the top of the bookies’ lists. But as yet, the managerial position remains vacant.
One name Newcastle fans would likely greet with open arms is Benitez.
The Spaniard was lauded during his stint at the helm between 2016-19. However, Benitez previously indicated he had ruled himself out of the running at St. James’ Park after only taking charge at Everton this summer.
But online outlet Football Insider suggest Newcastle won’t lay down easily. They claim Newcastle ‘want to be certain Benitez is a non-starter before abandoning the pursuit completely.’
Furthermore, they cite a source that stated: “Benitez is and always has been first choice to take over.” That stance stemmed from Newcastle’s desire to appoint Benitez when the Saudi takeover appeared as if it would succeed last year.
Prising Benitez away from Everton appears fraught with difficulties on a number of levels. But a second source is cited that insisted it is the area Benitez lives in – not Everton as a club – that is the biggest hinderance Newcastle are facing.
They are quoted as saying: “prising Benitez from the Wirral rather than Everton” is their biggest challenge.
Benitez maintained property in Merseyside dating back to his spell with Liverpool. The Spaniard is known to be a lover of the area, something that will have aided Everton in their pursuit four months ago.
Newcastle warned transfers for Real trio could backfire
Meanwhile, Steve McManaman has warned Newcastle have to be careful with their new war chest, as agents will push players in the club’s direction that may not ‘turn up’.
Newcastle have been linked with a series of high profile footballers in Europe since their takeover. Though they must be careful what kind of players they end up with, according to McManaman.
“Newcastle just have to be very careful. Everybody in the world knows that,” said McManaman.
“Every agent will be trying to push their players into Newcastle. Gareth Bale would be very interesting, of course he would, as he’s got a year left on his contract and he’s a super player.”
Despite his advertisement of Gareth Bale, McManaman listed three Real Madrid players the club should steer clear of.
“Eden Hazard is now on the wrong side of 30. And you have to be very careful with Isco and Luka Jovic,” he said.
“I don’t think Isco is a Premier League player, he just lacks that little bit of pace. Marquee signings to me are the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.”