Rafa Benitez’s close friend reveals stance on NUFC return & responds to Celtic / Chelsea rumours

Following his sudden exit at Dalian Pro and return to his family in England, Rafa Benitez’s good friend and man in the media Guillem Balague has offered a series of updates on his next step in management.

Inevitably, his newfound availability saw him immediately suggested as the man to replace an under-fire Steve Bruce, however Balague has insisted that Newcastle is “not an option” while Mike Ashley remains in charge.

He does state that it is a possibility if new owners arrived, insisting he has “huge respect” for the fans and feels there is “unfinished business” at NUFC.

As for Celtic, he also states that this is not on Rafa’s radar – pouring cold water on The Mirror’s big claim last night that he was all set to replace Neil Lennon in Scotland.

Balague also claims that the Spaniard will “rest for a bit”, despite offers from Germany and a ‘national side’.

Chelsea have also been linked with a short-term deal for the 60-year-old should they sack Frank Lampard, but Balague believes it’s Thomas Tuchel who is on their radar….not Rafa.

Here’s what he’s had to say on Twitter on all of the above:

Balague on Benitez to Newcastle:

Newcastle is not an option for Rafa Benitez under this owner.

Change the owner (I know, I know…) and then maybe…

Rafa has a huge respect for the fans, the club, the town. And I feel there is a bit of an unfinished business there.”

Balague on Benitez to Celtic:

“Rafa Benitez to Celtic? There was interest in him but not an option today.

“He’s going to rest for a bit, despite offers (from Germany, also a national side…)

“By the way, about Celtic: there is a false document doing the rounds (check the phone number!)

Balague on Benitez to Chelsea:

Rafa Benítez to Chelsea? No.

If they decide to get rid of Frank Lampard, and we know you don’t get a lot of time/patience at Chelsea, they are great admirers of Thomas Tuchel.”

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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