Former France boss fancies Newcastle role, as Benitez claims emerge

Date published: Tuesday 25th June 2019 10:19 - Matthew Briggs

Mike Ashley Lee Charnley TEAMtalk

Laurent Blanc has reportedly thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.

The Daily Star claim that the former Manchester United defender has made contact with the Tyneside club to let them know of his interest.

The former France and Paris St-Germain boss is apparently keen on getting back into the game after losing his job in the French capital two years ago.

The Geordies are, understandably, devastated by the forthcoming exit of Benitez, who will step down at the end of his contract on June 30.

In a statement released on Monday the club claimed they had “worked hard” to try and agree a new deal with the 59-year-old and his representatives, but ultimately failed.

The Sun have claimed that Benitez “had no idea of the press release until he was told about it by a friend  – and hoped Newcastle would make a renewed attempt to keep him this week”.

The tabloid report that owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley had offered Benitez a one-year extension on the same £6m-a-year salary plus bonuses after meeting him in London on May 17.

But communication had halted since then, with Benitez, who had concerns over squad strengthening, claiming not to have received answers to questions he had pose.

Benitez’s coaching staff of Paco de Miguel Moreno, Antonio Gomez Perez and Mikel Antia will also leave with the Spanish boss, who has been linked with a job in China.

Laurent Blanc: Left PSG

TEAMtalk informed you months ago that the club were considering potential replacements, just in case they failed to agree a new deal with Benitez.

However, the official line from the club is that they only had eyes for Benitez and were not working on alternatives to the Spanish coach and there search will start will only start now after they failed to come to an agreement with Benitez.

On Monday TEAMtalk sources revealed that former New Zealand and Colorado Rapids coach Anthony Hudson was in contention.

We can also reveal that Newcastle are looking at the possibility of appointing a young head coach with a more experienced sporting director alongside the new coach.

Sky Sports have already thrown Avram Grant’s name into the ring, while today they suggest Claudio Ranieri is in contention.

Whatever Newcastle are planning they will have to move quickly because the first-team squad reports back on July 4 and at the current time they face the prospect of working with recently-appointed Newcastle Under-23 coach Neil Redfearn.


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