According to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, Rafa Benitez wants to make an emotional return to Newcastle United in the event of a Saudi-backed takeover.
He also reveals that the Spaniard would also be keen to recruit John Stones and Ross Barkley – two players he states Rafa has tried to sign in the past.
The Telegraph report that Real Madrid showed interest in Stones during Benitez’s time at the Bernabeu, claiming the Spaniard would ‘love’ to work with the centre-back – believing he would iron out the defensive errors that have seen him lose his place in Man City’s XI.
Law also reveals that Rafa wanted Barkley at Newcastle United when he was made available by Everton back in 2018, but the Telegraph report that we refused to compete financially with Chelsea.
The piece insists that Bruce will be at the helm until the end of the season, but news that Benitez is interested in a return to Tyneside is a positive one – even if his contract situation in China means he’ll come at a considerable cost.
It would be a very popular appointment with our fanbase, allowing the ‘Rafalution’ to be kickstarted once again but with a wealthy pot of funds at his disposal – something he didn’t have last time.
However, how much is true about Barkley and Stones is questionable to say the least. Any man and his dog could tell you that what Newcastle United needs is a striker, and other offensive minded players to add firepower to the side – not a centre-back.
Barkley would be a good acquisition and he is still young at 26, but Stones isn’t much of an improvement on what we have already in my opinion.
He is seen as a weak link at club and international level, and the defensive spine to our team is our strongest aspect by a country mile.