Some very dubious claims have arrived from Italy today, with an ‘exclusive’ from Tutto Mercato stating that Newcastle are preparing for Rafa Benitez to leave the club at the end of the season and have contacted Reading boss Jaap Stam as a potential replacement.
Benitez has come under criticism recently after eight defeats in our last 9, but this all seems highly unlikely for several reasons.
With a takeover in the pipeline, I don’t expect Benitez to be ‘preparing’ to leave and doubt the board are having those discussions either given they are looking for a way out.
It has also been stated on several occasions that Benitez is key to Staveley and PCP’s potential takeover, with claims that they would ‘walk away’ from a potential buy-out if he was no longer on the scene at St James’ Park.
Also, Jaap Stam. The former Manchester Utd centre-back has guided the Royals to the Championship play-off final last season, but his side currently sit in the bottom half of the second tier this season. He has no managerial experience in the Premier League and has limited Championship know-how too (incase the NUFC board were assessing their options with potential relegation in mind).
A few fans have been calling for Rafa’s head (to my bemusement), but maybe stories like this will make them realise that the grass won’t be greener in a world without Benitez at NUFC!
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) December 20, 2017