Newcastle United will lose manager Rafa Benitez this week, according to a report in the Times.
The Spaniard’s contract expires on Sunday and the report suggests he will walk away, and, as things stand, there is no chance of him changing his mind. The outlet had earlier reported that the club had offered a one-year extension but Rafa refused to sign it.
The report claimed one of the issues was a non-negotiable transfer fund of around £50 million. It also cited a lack of trust has led to a breakdown in communication and Benitez was now determined to leave after three years in charge at St James’ Park. The Times reports the club will now start a search for his replacement but have so far not given thought to who could replace the 59-year-old.
The club is in the process of a takeover and the final outcome of the deal could change the entire landscape on Tyneside. If the buyout gets completed, the new owners may want to install their own choice as manager. But, if the deal collapses Newcastle would need a new manager. One man that should be considered is Eddie Howe.
The English manager took the Cherries to the top-flight for the first time in their history and has kept them in the Premier League for five consecutive seasons. And in their last campaign, they actually finished on the same amount of points as Newcastle.
Eddie Howe has proved he can work with a relative tight transfer budget, Benitez had been offered £50 million if he signed his offer from Newcastle, while Howe spent £76 million on player acquisitions last season and he has shown he knows where to find bargains.
Last summer Howe signed David Brooks from Sheffield United for £11.5 million and after one good season, Transfermarkt now values the Welshman at £27 million. Brooks provided five assists and scored seven times in 30 league appearances last season for the Cherries.
Howe has also proved he knows the lower leagues and that he is not afraid to take risks with players from the Championship. Within the last year he has signed three players from the English second-tier. Along with Brooks, he has also signed Chris Mepham from Brentford and Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City.
It is difficult to see where Howe does go if he was to leave Bournemouth. It is hard to imagine a top-six team giving him an opportunity, a lot of other clubs would be of similar stature to the Cherries, which in my opinion, leaves Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle as realistic destinations.
Everton and West Ham both have relatively new managers, leaving Newcastle. There is no indication Howe would be wanted by the Newcastle board, but as a manager dealing with similar restrictions and with Premier League experience, he could be the man to keep the Magpies in the division next season.