According to The Times’ Duncan Castles, Mike Ashley has been in touch with Rafa Benitez over a potential return to Newcastle United.
He reports that the NUFC owner has asked the Spaniard if he’d be willing to return to St James’ Park, with the 60-year-old now back with family in England and currently out of work after leaving Chinese side Dalian Pro last month.
Castles claims that Benitez “isn’t completely against the idea of taking the job” but is “leaning against the offer that Ashley has presented to him”, which would hardly be surprising (providing this rumour is even true!) based on the way things unfolded during his first stint on Tyneside.
Here’s what’s been said on the journalist’s latest podcast:
Castles also claims that “Steve Bruce’s future is in doubt”, not that this ties in with a recent piece from The Chronicle that claimed he had received fresh backing from Mike Ashley following the arrival of Graeme Jones.
It would be great to have him back, but is he really going to return when you know who remains in charge? I doubt it, yet it would be classic Ashley, showing he’s learned nothing since he found himself in this exact same position when Steve McClaren left us in this mess five years ago.
I’d file this one in the highly unlikely category. Benitez has unfinished business here, however the phrase once bitten twice as shy will no doubt see him say no…providing these claims even carry any truth.