Mauricio Pochettino seems the heavy favorite to become the new Newcastle manager, once the takeover gets the blessing of the Premier League.
And this week there have been some positive reports, including some from last night, about that happening soon.
Maybe this week?
Yes, we’ve been saying that for about three or four weeks now!
Mauricio has let it be known that he wants total control on transfers and the playing side of the club if he takes the job.
That would not necessarily be the case if Amanda Staveley appoints a Director of Football, and it looks very much like she will.
We were recently linked with Lille’s Director of Football Luis Campos, but the news on that was after we made a massive offer for his services, he turned us down.
The impressive Portuguese talent-spotter is probably going to link up again with his countryman Jose Mourinho at Tottenham.
Rafa Benitez – could he be making a surprise return to Newcastle?
The two of them worked well together when Jose was at Real Madrid from 2010 through 2013.
So it seems at odds that Mauricio Pochettino would be the first-choice manager if Staveley wants to also bring in a Director o Football.
And recently, Owen Brown and Frank McParland have been linked with joining Newcastle.
The Independent reported yesterday that former Rafa colleague Owen Brown was confident of getting the Director of Football job at Newcastle and that Frank McPartland will join him.
Here’s a short piece from that Independent report:
“Long-time Rafa Benitez colleague Owen Brown is understood to be confident of a director of football role with Frank McParland involved, but the plan is also for a team of intelligent directors.”
The 57-year-old Liverpudlian McParland has also worked closely with Rafa Benitez in the past during two stints at Liverpool and brought through the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe.
In fact, when Graham Carr left Newcastle in the summer of 2017, there was speculation that Frank McParland may come in to replace Carr, but it didn’t happen.
We have also noticed that some of the transfer targets being talked about have links with Benitez from the past – players like Coutinho and Kalidou Koulibaly, to name only two.
The other thing is that Amanda Staveley wanted Rafa Benitez to stay on as manager as part of her failed attempt to buy the club in late 2017, early 2018, and she has always been an admirer of Rafa’s management abilities.
So when you take this all into account, even though the news is all about Pochettino being the first choice as the new manager, maybe Amanda Staveley will shock us all and bring Rafa back to Newcastle?
That would be a popular choice among our fans, and he could pick up from where he left off almost a year ago.
That would also give us some continuity under the new owners.
One problem in getting Rafa back is that he is tied up at Chinese Super League club Dalian until the end of next year and is said to have a £12M release clause.
But Amanda Staveety is an experienced and intelligent operator, and she could get him out of that contract – if she really wants the Spaniard back at Newcastle.
That’s assuming Rafa would be in favor of breaking his contract in China to return to the Premier League and Newcastle this summer.
The manager is more important than any player if you are looking for success.
If Rafa is not the current first choice, then if Pochettino turns down the job, possibly because Real Madrid or Barcelona come after him soon, that’s another way in which Rafa could end up with his former job on Tyneside.
But it’s also clear our fans would prefer the younger Pochettino as the new Newcastle manager after over 30,000 have voted in our poll below.
One last thing – if the takeover gets the OK from the Premier League – this summer is going to be absolutely fascinating for our faithful and long-suffering fans.
Howay The Lads!!