A fresh twist has emerged in Newcastle’s pursuit of a new manager regarding former Magpies coach Rafael Benitez.
According to Football Insider, the Tynesiders are yet to give up hope of being able to lure the Spaniard back to the club to lead them to survival this season in the Premier League.
The report claims that PIF have had him as their first choice to replace Steve Bruce since they completed the takeover and that a deal could still be possible despite him joining fellow English outfit Everton in the summer just gone.
Newcastle fans will surely be on cloud nine following this update. Some fans reacted to his switch to Goodison Park in the summer and were gutted after he went there instead of returning to St James’ Park. PIF are now trying to rectify the situation and appease those supporters who want him back at the club, despite it initially seeming unlikely due to his position at Everton.
The 61-year-old enjoyed a terrific spell on Tyneside as he managed the club for three-and-a-half years. He came in at the end of Newcastle’s 2015/16 relegation season, only losing three of the final 10 Premier League matches as the damage had been done prior to his arrival.
A Championship-winning campaign was then followed by 10th and 13th-placed finishes in the top flight, with Benitez leaving on good terms in 2019 to join Chinese Super League side DL Yifang. He ended his time at Newcastle with an average of 1.48 points per game across 146 matches.
Bruce replaced him and averaged just 1.15 points per game in 97 matches in charge, with Newcastle finishing 13th and 12th in the top flight in his two full seasons at the helm. The Magpies are currently 19th in the table after the 60-year-old led them to three draws and five defeats in eight games, culminating in his dismissal.
This is why fans would surely be delighted with a return to the club for the Spaniard. Even if it is on a short-term basis to help keep Newcastle in the Premier League before another manager comes in to take them forward under PIF, it could give the fans another season of Rafa to enjoy. However, the owners must now find a way to prise him away from Everton and relieve Graeme Jones of his caretaking duties in the next few weeks.