Former Celtic center-back Johan Mjallby thinks that Rafa Benitez could be tempted to take over Celtic north of the border.
The position is vacant since former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers left in late February to manage former Premier League Champions Leicester City who Newcastle play tomorrow night.
Newcastle have left it (very) late to sign up Benitez and some of that is becasue of the failure of Newcastle to reach safety in the Premier League.
But there are still agreements to be reached between Mike Ashley and Rafa for Rafa to take the job.
This is some of what Johan Mjallby has said in the Express today:
“Why not? You can’t talk Celtic down.”
“Obviously, Rangers have had difficult years but they are massive clubs and either one of them should win the league every year.”
“But even if you have been the manager of big clubs in other major leagues, the pressure you have as a Celtic manager is enormous.”
“Martinez has never won a league title, for example.”
“Villas-Boas and Benitez have done, but you have the chance to win trophies every year at Parkhead.”
“The ambition should also be to make Celtic great in Europe again.”
One of the problems in Scotland is that the Scottish Premiership is not one of the top leagues in Europe.
Celtic would certainly offer Rafa some games back in the Champions League and that’s something he will not get near to achieving for some time at Newcastle – so that’s a positive.
The problem is there isn’t much money north of the border to recruit top players and it’s not clear that Celtic could afford Rafa’s £5M/year (plus?) wages.
But Celtic are still one of the most famous clubs in the world.
But other clubs are soon going to be linked with Rafa too – and the Spanish manager could even be tempted – until he’s (hopefully) signed by Newcastle.
Of course, there’s still nothing certain at the moment and we are nearly halfway through April.
And Rafa knows he will have Mike Ashley to deal with for a while (a few years?) at Newcastle if he does agree to stay.
That cannot be helpful.