Jaap Stam has today revealed that Newcastle attempted to bring him to St James’ Park earlier in the year.
The Man Utd legend has confirmed that the club contacted him ‘a few days’ after he put pen to paper at Feyenoord in March – suggesting we were actively looking for Rafa Benitez’s replacement BEFORE the Spaniard’s contract expired.
He rejected the offer after already agreeing to take over the Dutch giants, but seemed flattered by our interest.
Here’s what he’s had to say to Voetbal International:
“You have been informed, because it is correct. Newcastle United applied a few days after I signed my signature at Feyenoord. So it was not an option right away.
“I am a man of my word. It was beautiful and honourable, because the people in England apparently know what I stand for as a trainer.”
If this is true, it makes it seem as though Mike Ashley had absolutely no intention of keeping Rafa Benitez – and the way the summer panned out would back up those thoughts.
Not only that, these new comments from Stam also suggest Steve Bruce was anything but our first choice target following the Spaniard’s summer exit.
That said, an unproven manager who was recently sacked by Championship strugglers Reading hardly looked like the answer.