Former Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is keen on a return to St James’ Park, according to reports.
The future of Steve Bruce has been unclear due to the uncertainty surrounding the £300m takeover of the club by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and backed by Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers.
If it goes through, it would officially bring Mike Ashley’s 13-year reign of terror to a long-awaited end after making a variety of decisions that have deeply upset the St James’ Park faithful over the years.
Bruce told Sky Sports that he backs himself to do a job under the prospective new owners as he aims to be given the opportunity to stay in the Magpies’ hot seat beyond next season, but added that he is currently “in the dark” about his future.
Will Rafa Benitez return to St James' Park?
According to The Telegraph, Benitez will throw his hat into the ring and would make an “emotional return” to Tyneside after he left last summer following a three-year stint in charge.
The report adds that he has eyed two players to bring with him. Manchester City defender John Stones and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley have both been identified as key assets that the Spanish tactician would like to bring to Newcastle.
The thought of Benitez coming greatly excites me. Stones and Barkley? Not the most exciting names in world football by means but both players would certainly improve our playing squad vastly.
Therefore, I would be all for the idea, even though Mauricio Pochettino appears to be top of PIF’s wishlist.