Stan Collymore has warned Newcastle fans that Rafael Benitez will have offers from “five or six” premium clubs this summer.
Newcastle are currently 16th in the Premier League, sitting rather uncomfortably just two points above the drop zone.
Benitez is suspected to be unhappy with the lack of transfer dealings from owner Mike Ashley, after just three loan signings were made in January to add to the six summer signings made last year.
Islam Slimani hasn’t kicked a ball for the club yet, though Martin Dubravka and Kenedy have made brighter starts to their times at the club.
Benitez has a contract on Tyneside until the summer of 2019, but Collymore suspects he will only fulfil that contract if he is given serious assurances by Ashley.
“I think what he’s been frustrated with is that he was promised funds to be able to kick Newcastle on to the next level, which Mike Ashley hasn’t given him because of the projected takeover which obviously hasn’t happened now.”
Benitez was of course manager of Real Madrid before moving to Newcastle, and Collymore says there will be a queue of top clubs lining up to poach the Spaniard this summer.
“He’s won the Champions League, he’s managed in the Premier League, he’s managed in Serie A, he’s managed in La Liga, he knows what it takes to put teams together.
“And it wouldn’t at all surprise me if he keeps them in the league, but then he walks and he says: ‘Right, I’ve had enough.’ Because, with the greatest of respect to Newcastle, there are probably five or six premium jobs that are going to be going, – whether it be at international or club level – that he would walk into with his CV.”
Benitez’s legacy goes far beyond just what he does in his time at a club, proven by Napoli’s tremendous season carried mostly by a spine of players brought in by the Spaniard.
West Ham are thought to be a long-term admirer of the 57-year-old, but Newcastle fans would surely dispute any claims that moving to the Hammers would be an upgrade.
Newcastle fans, do you think you can keep Benitez? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.