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Why There’s Only A Small Chance Of Newcastle Being Able To Get Rafa Benitez Back

We had some conflicting reports yesterday about who would be the manager At Newcastle once the Amanda Staveley led consortium gets approval from the Premier league to buy Newcastle.

That’s assuming there are no (big) spanners thrown into the works with the consortium’s owners’ and directors’ test by the Premier League.

The deal is now reported to be complete by the end of this month – two weeks.


There was a report from Craig Hope in the Mail that Steve Bruce would be given a chance to continue to manage Newcastle – his boyhood club.

They quote sources close to the deal, saying it would be “wrong” to make an immediate change.

And then Sky Sports Keith Downey came out and said it would be difficult for Rafa Benitez to turn down Newcastle if he got an offer from Amanda Staveley to come back to Newcastle,  and once again be close to his home in the Wirral.

And the new leaders at Newcastle will have Rafa Benitez’s ambitions for Newcastle United – very unlike Mike Ashley.

Keith didn’t actually say anything other than if an offer was made Rafa would hardly turn it down – it’s his dream job.

The consortium have put a lot of money into the acquisition of the club.

And by all accounts, they will have money to invest in the infrastructure.

That’s the training center, Youth Academy, St James’ Park: they will also invest in the City of Newcastle itself and, of course, in new players.

So if they are going to bring players in, you would think they would want the long term manager in place from the start.

It’s very costly and a little chaotic when you keep changing managers because they play different styles and like different kinds of players.

That’s why there was so much churn and wasted player investment when Freddy Shepherd was Chairman, and after Kevin Keegan had left – because he kept changing the managers.

Rafa turned 60 this week, and he is tied up on a deal in China with Chinese Super League club Dalian until the end of next year.

On 2 July 2019, Benítez took the job and signed a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The Chinese Super League have delayed the start of their new season because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s anybody’s guess when it can start.

Rafa’s release clause is reported to be £20M, so that’s really expensive, but that also sounds really unrealistic and could be negotiated down.

But we wonder if Rafa had a clause inserted into his contract that if a big offer came for him from a top club in Europe, he could be released – maybe even for a reduced amount.

If that was the case, it would make it easier for Rafa to leave China on good terms with his head held high.

Rafa has never broken a contract in his career.

But this is also what he had dreamed of at Newcastle: wealthy new owners with money to spend and ambitions to match his.

It is a massive opportunity for Rafa – if he is offered the job.

But he will not want to leave China if it puts a damper on his public image, or questions his ethics.

We think if it could be worked out between Amanda Staveley (who is a huge admirer of Rafa as a manager) and the Dalian officials, he would leave China and return to Tyneside.

And the two of them already know each other quite well, and when Amanda was trying to buy Newcastle in late 2017, one caveat was that Rafa was the manager.

It will be interesting to see what will happen. Still, we think there is only a small chance of Rafa returning to Newcastle this year, primarily because of the contract he has in China and the difficulties in breaking that.

Oh – I forget to mention the Newcastle fans just love this man, and got right behind him in the three and a half years he was at the club and to us – he was always the perfect manager for Newcastle United.

I personally love Rafa as a person, and as a manager – I think I’m allowed to say that without getting into too much trouble.


What do you think?

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • JDdubai

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #1

    Lets discuss the manager options, we havent done that in a while……….

  • jazzyp

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #2

    Let me come on here and say the takeover ain’t happening

    Takeover ain’t happening!

    The beauty is:

    If I’m wrong – happy days

    If I’m right – I told you so

    I can’t lose

  • AncientC

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3


    “I honestly dont want us to become Man city….I would hate to see us buying a player for massively over the odds fee and having to pay him 3 times what a man utd or chelsea would have to in order to get them here. ”

    Man City have done okay in the transfer market given the inflation on player values. How much is Alexis Sanchez on per week?

  • JDdubai

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #4

    My bus to Optimism Valley has a puncture……..

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #6

    Have to say I am enjoying Jib this morning!!!!

    We are in a glorious bubble at the moment for the first time in god knows when and suddenly these doom and gloom merchants and naysayers are out in force and seriously killing the feel good vibe at a time we need it the most.

    Re a new manager, as long as ”Bruce the excuse” isn’t here too long I’d take any of those 3 most popularly suggested


    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #7

    I commented last nyt that maybe rafa is not the ryt manager to take us forward, IF this takeover happens,got nothing against him,was nothing short of brilliant for us…and will be grateful for everything he did,the passion he showed and his optimistic view of what the club and region could be with a bit backing…the reason i say this is managers/coaches evolve, styles change…rafa,mourinho type are highly respected for what they’ve done,won and established but the modern game seems to be leaving this type of coach/manager behind…the new breed of manager/coach is the klopp, guardiola type who are more attacking, progressive…just a thought like?

  • JDdubai

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #8

    The irony is that should this all good ahead, the transfer style id want us to go with in the future is basically the same as the one ashley put forward.

    id much prefer we buy promising younger players and develop them into world beaters rather than buying players around 30 who’s better days may have gone already.

    Only difference is that we arent buying them with the intent to sell them on after 18 months for profit and will kept them through their prime so we can build a team longterm.

  • hibbit

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9

    JDdubai @1
    that’s not allowed, being hopeful optimistic dreaming, have all been banned, we’re in now in the doom and gloom camp for the foreseeable future. 😉 😉

  • yogz69

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #10

    Jdubai just hop on the flying carpet mate no need for a bus

  • Budge123

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #12

    Ancient – odd question bit is that a younger Michael Foot on your avatar?
    No reason to ask just curious as it looks like him or Barry Cryer but MF probably more likely.

  • The Prince's Mate

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #13

    For all of us who, are clinging on by our finger nails for some sign of hope…. Who produced the excellent post on twitter a couple of days ago by some lady called Rose??
    She gave a detailed.. convincing, account of the meanings of all documents forwarded to PL to date.
    Sorry if i got the name wrong but i think it was Rose…. the tweet was very convincing

  • JDdubai

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #14


    Agree with all that, i dont think many would complain if Rafa came back but Id much prefer us playing a high intensity pressing game similar to the modern trend thats out there with Lpool, dortmund etc and dont think thats Rafa’s style.

    Its just nice that the names being thrown around of Rafa, Pochettino, allegri, Nagelsmann etc are of a different class from JFK, Carver, Mcclaren and the like..

  • AncientC

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15

    Budge, it’s Bernie Sanders—a gravatar that is now looking a little out of date, it has to be said.

  • jazzyp

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #16


    We are not allowed to at last all come together as one and think the unthinkable that Ashley might finally be leaving the bujilding.
    Oooohhh no , No sirree bob..Ain’t happening, Dont believe everything you read for making fools out of yourself.


    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #17

    Jd dubai
    Yeah its a hell of a step up in class! Lol

  • Budge123

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #18

    I’m probably one of few who quite liked Michael Foot in some ways.

    For Sanders to suddenly step aside seemed odd.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #19

    They are still cutting off heads over there. Not a great place to be if you’re a homosexual ether, which I believe is one in ten of us, or more. I’m thrilled to be rid of Ashley, thrilled to have some money to allow us to strive to be our best self, but honestly Saudi Arabia needs to lift its game, and the fans should certainly be allowed and encouraged to voice their opinion and misgivings on the matter of their record on human rights. It’s going to happen regardless.

  • Alems1983

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #20

    I don’t think we’ll go for Rafa, he was still here when he knew about the takeover, he could have signed a 1 year deal and if it flopped he could have left or signed a longer one now.

    Plus if he came back and it didn’t go to plan, Amanda would have to sack him which would be a daunting task for her regardless of being professional.

    I think Bruce will be there till end of season, then at first opportunity bring in an experienced successful manager to build us from top to bottom. My money is on the Italian or Poch

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #21

    jd dubai

    i was never against buying the players young model, the trouble is you need top coaches to develop these people, not the succession of cheap z listers, Rafa apart, that ash has always employed.

  • the Northumbrian

    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #22

    In my humble opinion Rafa did what he could with a squad that couldn’t score but could defend. He did play defensively against most teams but knew he had to try and get at least a point per game to survive. Ashley wouldn’t spend much at all in January so survival had to be his aim. I’d like to see what he could do with a decent budget and better players so that’s why he got my vote. Anyone agree?

  • JohnJ

    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #23

    Dr Ed.

    I personally love Rafa as a person, and as a manager!

    Yes you are allowed to say that without getting into ant trouble.at all.



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