The Bookies’ Favourites To Replace Rafa Benitez At Newcastle
Newcastle fans had a miserable start to their week after the news broke that manager Rafael Benitez was leaving the club, with both parties unable to come to an agreement on a new deal for the Spaniard.
While the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss was unable to save the Geordies from relegation upon taking over in 2016, he guided them back into the Premier League at the first attempt and kept them well clear of the drop zone in the subsequent two seasons in the top flight.
Benitez had become a firm fans’ favourite at St James’ Park and news of his departure has not gone down well with Newcastle supporters who have long been opposed to Mike Ashley’s ownership.
With Newcastle looking for their 11th manager (including caretakers) since Ashley bought the club in 2007, here are the bookies’ main contenders to take the managerial reins on Tyneside:
Mikel Arteta (8/1 with Boylesports and Coral)
The Spaniard, who previously played with Everton and Arsenal, is awaiting his first managerial job, having been assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since 2016. He took charge of the Premier League champions for one game last September, when Guardiola was serving a touchline ban, but that ended in a 2-1 home defeat to Lyon in the Champions League.
Arteta had been heavily linked with the Arsenal job last year after his former manager Arsene Wenger left the club, only for Unai Emery to be chosen. While the 37-year-old is joint favourite for the job and could be eager to get his break as a manager, Newcastle might not be the easiest club with which to begin.