Everton: Rafa Benitez continues to be linked with Newcastle return | OneFootball
Everton: Rafa Benitez continues to be linked with Newcastle return
Everton could face a battle to keep manager Rafa Benitez at the club over the coming months as Newcastle United have reportedly refused to give up hope of enticing the Spaniard back to St. James’ Park.
What’s the story?
The 61-year-old spent three years at the helm of Newcastle between 2016 and 2019 and was a firm fans favourite in the North East after guiding the Magpies back to the Premier League in his first full season in charge.
However, Benitez departed due to a lack of investment from previous owner Mike Ashley, but the retail entrepreneur has now sold the club to a Saudi-back consortium, allowing them to join football’s financial elite.
Newcastle’s newfound wealth has already led to Steve Bruce’s sacking and brought questions over his potential successor, with Benitez believed to be at the top of their wishlist.
Do you want Benitez to stay at Everton?
A report from Football Insider states that: “Newcastle United have not given up all hope of luring Rafael Benitez into a sensational return, Football Insider understands.
“The Spaniard, 61, has long been the favoured choice of the Saudi-led regime to take over as manager, and that remains the case nearly a week into their search for a Steve Bruce replacement.
“A Newcastle source has told Football Insider there is an inkling of hope Benitez could be persuaded to leave Everton even though he has publicly ruled it out.”
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Everton fans may be worried
Although Benitez’s appointment at Everton wasn’t a universally popular one due to his previous connections with fierce rivals Liverpool, a large section of the club’s supporters will still be worried over his potential exit.
The tactician has made a solid start to life at Goodison Park, picking up 14 points from his first nine top-flight fixtures to leave the Toffees just three points outside of the Champions League qualification places.
Coupled with the fact that Benitez is Everton’s sixth permanent manager since David Moyes’ exit in 2013 – and that the ex-Real Madrid boss has won one Champions League, two La Liga titles and one FA Cup crown throughout his career – it’s likely that many supporters will be desperate for some stability and success under the current regime.
The Toffees impressive start to the 2021/22 campaign under Benitez this season has seen the Spaniard win plenty of supporters around Merseyside over despite his chequered past in charge of their arch-rivals.
As such, this latest update could leave many rather worried, particularly as any departure would leave them looking for their second boss in as many seasons.