Key Newcastle man ‘seriously considering’ stay despite relegation blow – expert

Rafa Benitez is “seriously considering” staying at Newcastle despite the club’s relegation to the Championship, according to Guillem Balague.

Sunderland’s 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday night rendered it mathematically impossible for the Magpies to avoid the drop this season, despite the fact they have a game left to play.

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The Tynesiders have been staring at the abyss for much of the campaign, but a late managerial change that saw Benitez drafted in to replace Steve McClaren boosted hopes at St James’ Park, albeit it’s now confirmed that the club’s reaction was too little, too late.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss, who started the season in charge of Real Madrid, has already confirmed that there was a clause inserted in his contract allowing him to walk away should Newcastle drop into the Championship, leading many to suggest that he will indeed move on.

However, Spanish football expert Balague believes that the highly-rated tactician might stay even with the club heading into the second tier.

Responding to a concerned supporter on Twitter, he said:

“If I was a @NUFC fan and crossed paths with him, I would tell him I want him to stay. He’s seriously considering it.”

Newcastle’s relegation came in the bitterest of circumstances, with fierce local rivals Sunderland surviving at their expense.