As the final month of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle contract nears, the Spaniard is seemingly no closer to signing a new deal at St James’ Park that would keep the Champions League winning manager on Tyneside.
Negotiations between the gaffer and Managing Director Lee Charnley are ongoing, however, so there remains hope that the 59-year-old will still be at the helm come August. But all the while the uncertainty rumbles on, the chances of Benitez moving on rolls on too.
If he were to leave St James’ Park over the next month, it would be unlikely the former Liverpool and Real Madrid head coach will be out of employment for long.
One possible destination could be a return to Italy, where AS Roma are searching for their next full-time head coach following the departure of caretaker boss Claudio Ranieri, who temporarily steadied the ship after the Giallorossi sacked Eusebio de Francesco in March.
According to CalcioMercato, a move to the Stadio Olimpico is not too far fetched of an idea, either.
The Italian football news site understand Benitez was offered to Roma President James Pallotta over the past few weeks, and suggest our manager would not be afraid of working in Italy again following his time with Napoli.
They also believe his profile as a head coach would suit well with what Pallotta is keen to build upon, although they concede that the rumoured takeover by Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan could tempt the 2006 FA Cup winner to stay in England.
CalcioMercato also make no assumptions that Benitez is at the top of Pallotta’s shortlist for candidates, with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri currently considered a ‘miracle’ appointment.
Other names being considered in the Italian capital include Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca, US Sassuolo’s Roberto De Zerbi, Laurent Blanc, UC Sampdoria’s Marco Giampaolo, and rumoured Newcastle manager-of-interest Gennaro Gattuso following his sacking at AC Milan.