There could be exciting times ahead for Newcastle as talks with Saudi Public Investment Fund seem to be progressing, and according to The Sun the group is lining up Rafa Benitez to take over as manager.
The consortium, which involves Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as David and Simon Reuben, are in discussions with Mike Ashley over a £340m bid for the club.
There are still several details to be sorted out but they have reportedly planned on who their manager will be upon taking over – Benitez.
It is believed that the Spaniard will take over at the end of the season, thereby allowing Steve Bruce to continue in the role and finish what has been a good season for the Magpies so far, as they sit seven points off relegation.
Although Bruce wasn’t the most popular of appointments he has had Newcastle punching above their weight, as they sit 14th in the Premier League and are still in the FA Cup despite numerous injuries hitting the squad.
Given the wealth of the consortium taking over it is little surprise that they are looking to upgrade, as they may want a manager who has greater experience of managing at the top level, including high-profile players, and Benitez has that in abundance, unlike Bruce.
Added to that, it would be a good way to win over fans, many of whom were very disappointed when the former Liverpool boss left last summer, having never enjoyed the backing of owner Mike Ashley.
It would be harsh on Bruce to be dismissed and he deserves the chance to invest in the squad, as so far he has made some clever signings in Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems, both of whom are greatly appreciated amongst the fanbase.
Of course, the takeover deal is not yet near completion and given Ashley’s history it is likely that talks could stall for one reason or another, and therefore Bruce deserves continued backing from the board, including further spending in the remainder of the transfer window.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have been lining up a move for a £25m player who could make all the difference in a key area.