Feyenoord manager Jaap Stam made some noteworthy claims on Monday in an interview with Dutch outlet Voetbal International.
The 47-year-old stated that he was approached by Newcastle shortly after he had agreed to become manager of Feyenoord last March.
The implications of this revelation are that Newcastle were preparing for life after Rafa Benitez a full four months before he officially parted ways with the club.
This is what the former Manchester United defender said to the Voetbal International:
“You have been informed because it is correct. Newcastle United contacted me a few days after I agreed to manage Feyenoord. So it was not an option right away.
“I am a man of my word. It was beautiful and honorable because the people in England apparently know what I stand for as a coach.”
This is quite a profound declaration. There were reports of managers being linked with Newcastle as early as April last year. We had a report out then about former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso and ex-Lyon manager Bruno Genesio being linked.
We hadn’t heard anything of Jaap Stam being sounded out as Rafa’s successor. Newcastle are now nixing the claims made by the 47-year-old Dutchman.
According to the Chronicle sources at the club deny that Stam was ever contacted about being Newcastle’s head coach. They also claim that they never held any interest in him whatsoever.
It seems like an odd claim for Stam to make up. However, he would have also been a strange appointment to manage a club like Newcastle. We just have no idea what to believe on this one.