In Focus: No surprise that Everton have failed with Rafa Benitez approach

According to reports in The Sun, Everton have failed with an approach for Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez this week as they look for a potential replacement for the under-fire Ronald Koeman.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun says the Toffees want the Spaniard to replace Koeman at Goodison Park, but he rejected their advances when he was approached about taking the job this week.

The Dutchman is under huge pressure at Goodison Park after the Merseyside outfit won just two of their opening eight Premier League fixtures this season, while also only taking one point from six available in the group stages of the Europa League.

The former Southampton boss will hope to relieve some of the pressure with a positive performance at home to Lyon in Europe on Thursday night, but his position is certainly under threat unless results improve.

The Sun adds that Everton were hopeful that Benitez might jump ship now that Mike Ashley has put Newcastle up for sale, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

Why would Benitez turn Everton down?

There are a number of reasons.

While he hasn’t always got on with Ashley at St James’ Park, the Spaniard has a great relationship with the fans and he will see a future potential takeover as the chance to significantly strengthen his squad if he is handed the extra funds that he didn’t receive during the summer transfer window.

In addition, Benitez obviously used to manage Liverpool and he may feel that it would be something of a betrayal to the Reds if he took a job with their arch-rivals.

What happens next for Everton?

Well, their home fixtures against Lyon and then Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday will show if there has been any improvement from Koeman’s side following their 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend.

If there is no sign of improvement, the Dutchman could easily be sacked next week and Everton would then need to step up their search for a replacement.

Could Benitez yet have a change of heart?

It seems unlikely given things are going well for Newcastle in the Premier League right now, and unless the new takeover of the club would mean that he isn’t given any money to spend to strengthen his squad, him leaving seems unlikely.