Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has responded to widespread reports linking both Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino with the Newcastle United job should a £300m takeover be completed.
While Sky Sports have suggested that a move for Benitez is ‘almost inevitable’ should Staveley’s Saudi-backed buyers arrive, the BBC columnist has insisted that the Spaniard ‘hasn’t heard anything’ from the would-be owners – insisting he’s “miles away” from returning as things stand.
As for Pochettino, he doesn’t see the Argentinian rushing into a new job at Newcastle, believing big offers from Man City, Real Madrid or PSG could arrive before long – even if agents have been told that serious money could be available at St James’ Park.
Starting by addressing talk of a return for Rafa Benitez, here’s what he’s had to say on his YouTube channel
“It will be interesting to see what approach the new owners have got for Newcastle, in terms of style, in terms of money to spend in the market.
“Yes, the rumour that has reached agents is that there will be money available straight away, so they will be at the forefront of interesting signings, it’s just who’s going to go to Newcastle right now?
“I think the first decision will be to get a manager that can link all that.
“By the way, I heard that Rafa Benitez has not heard anything from the new owners, so he’s miles away from what’s happening right now.
“That’s the situation right now (with Benitez).”
Here’s what Guillem then had to say when asked if he sees former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino arriving at St James’ Park:
“I don’t think so – I think Pochettino is in a position where he doesn’t have to rush his next step.
“As I’ve said already, I think it will be very difficult for him to get a job now, as everybody is staying with what they’ve got, it’s not a time for big changes, but something will appear.
“It could be Manchester City after Pep Guardiola leaves, it could be PSG after Tuchel leaves, it could be Real Madrid after Zidane leaves, and why rush a decision now?”
“Newcastle, I just don’t see it.”
Although there’s been a LOT of rumours regarding potential appointments, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to hear that Rafa is yet to hear anything.
After all, the takeover isn’t official as of yet and Steve Bruce looks set to be given until the end of the season, so there’s plenty time on that front.
As for Pochettino, Balague raises some good points, with him likely to be biding his time when it comes to his next step into management.
With BeIN Sports threatening to derail their £300m takeover, I’m just hoping this all goes through before I get too carried away with who’s coming in!