Newcastle have begun their search for a new manager after announcing that Rafael Benitez will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.
Benitez, 59, has spent just over three years in charge at St James’ Park since replacing Steve McClaren in March 2016.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the possible contenders to replace the Spaniard.
Former Rangers, Everton and Arsenal midfielder Arteta has been learning his trade as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since 2016 and was strongly linked to the vacancy at Arsenal following Arsene Wenger’s departure before Unai Emery was appointed.
Howe has enjoyed tremendous success on a limited budget at Bournemouth, a quality which could make him attractive to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. Whether he would want to make the move north following an unsuccessful spell at Burnley remains to be seen.
Monk is available following his sacking by Birmingham, where he kept the club in the Sky Bet Championship last season despite a deduction of nine points for a breach of the football League’s profitability and sustainability rules. Has managed four clubs in little more than five years.
Mourinho would be the high-profile appointment many Newcastle fans appear to crave, but whether he would be willing to work with a limited budget under Ashley is up for debate. Currently enjoying time away from football following his sacking by Manchester United.
Sacked by Brighton despite keeping the club in the Premier League, Hughton has experience of working under Ashley before, leading Newcastle to the Championship title in 2010 but then being sacked in December that year with the club 11th in the top flight.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
Rafael Benitez will be considering his options after it was announced he will be leaving his post as Newcastle manager when his contract expires on June 30.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at where the Spaniard could work next.
Chinese Super League
With contract negotiations at Newcastle appearing fraught in recent weeks, Benitez has been heavily linked with a big-money move to China. Reports claim the 59-year-old has been offered £12 million per year to take over at Dalian Yifang. This would make him the highest-paid manager in China. There has been little indication as yet, however, that Benitez is tempted.
Benitez’s Newcastle exit comes five days after it was announced Luis Enrique was standing down as manager of the Spain national team for personal reasons. Enrique’s assistant, Robert Moreno, has taken over and is due to lead them through to Euro 2020, but Spain have now had four managers in the past year and appointing another one, if results are bad, is hardly inconceivable.
It seems unlikely, but a return to Chelsea is a possibility. The London club are looking for a new manager after Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus. Frank Lampard has been heavily tipped for the job, but there has been no significant development on that front in the week since Sarri’s departure. Benitez boasts the same credentials that attracted Chelsea to him when he had a stint as interim boss at Stamford Bridge in 2012/13. That spell yielded Europa League success. The downside was that he never truly won over the fans due to his past Liverpool connections, and that would count against him again.
Other Premier League club
It is thought Benitez would prefer to stay in England. His family are settled in the country and are still based on Merseyside following his successful time at Liverpool from 2004 to 2010. But, Chelsea aside, there are no big jobs currently available. He would have to bide his time and wait for an opportunity. His move to Newcastle shows it need not be a top-six club, but he would look for somewhere with notable stature. He would surely also consider openings in La Liga or Serie A should they arise.
Stranger things have happened. If Newcastle struggle to find a new boss, or their much talked about, on-off takeover ever happens, maybe an olive branch could be offered. It would certainly be popular with supporters.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
The rumour mill is in full churn as we approach the thick of summer – see what Monday’s British newspapers had to say in the transfer gossip column.
What the papers say
Leicester City’s Harry Maguire could seal an £80million switch to Manchester City this week, according to the Daily Mirror. The 26-year-old is ready to join City over rivals Manchester United, who have also been pushing to land him, in a world record transfer for a defender, the paper says.
Unai Emery will push the Arsenal board for more cash to land number one attacking target Wilfried Zaha, The Sun reports. The paper says the Gunners boss has had his transfer budget limited to £45million after failing to reach the Champions League, but Crystal Palace’s Zaha would be expected to cost at least £55million. Zaha is said to be seen as central to Emery’s summer rebuild.
Manchester United will reportedly trigger Marcus Rashford‘s 12-month contract extension amid fears he could leave on a free when his current deal expires. The Sun claims Old Trafford chiefs will activate the 21-year-old’s extension before the end of next week, as Real Madrid and Barcelona both show interest in landing him.
Meanwhile, United are set to go head-to-head with Liverpool to land Real Betis defender Junior Firpo, according to reports. The Daily Mirror says the 22-year-old has attracted the attention of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he plans an overhaul of his playing squad, with reports in Spain suggesting Betis are willing to let Firpo leave providing his £45million release clause is met.
Inter Milan are reportedly still some way off arriving at an agreement with Manchester United for the sale of Romelu Lukaku. The Daily Mail says reports in Italy suggest Inter, who have made the 26-year-old their priority signing of the summer, are at least £20million off the asking price.
Social media round-up
Players to watch
Mateo Mejia: Manchester United will sign the 16-year-old Spaniard from Real Zaragoza after seeing off rival bids in England and La Liga, The Sun claims. The paper reports United are paying an initial £600,000 for the youngster.
Che Adams: Southampton have made a final £14million offer for the Birmingham player, according to The Sun. The club have been trying to land the 22-year-old since their £10million bid was rejected in January but will not be held to ransom, the paper says. The Blues are said to be wanting closer to £16million for the striker.