Journalist Daniel Storey has cast doubt over the chances of Rafa Benitez returning to Newcastle United with Mike Ashley in charge.
Back in the summer of 2019, the 60-year-old Spaniard departed St. James’ Park and later took up a position with Chinese club Dalian Professional (per Transfermarkt).
Benitez left the Toon having overseen 146 games, in which he managed to win 62 and draw 30 – leaving him with a points-per-game total of 1.48.
Over the weekend, though, clubs were supposedly put on alert after it was revealed that the manager had left his position with Dalian Pro, citing the current global pandemic as the reason (per The Guardian).
During the latest episode of The Totally Football Show, Storey cast doubt over the chances of the Spaniard returning to St. James’ Park with Ashley still at the helm. (49:12)
He said: “I think that is a bit of a false flag.
“Guillem Balague was talking to the BBC and saying how it ended at Newcastle cannot be overstated – how fractious that was.
“It was very much a kind of, ‘This is your chance to keep me and if you don’t want me then you’ll make it perfectly clear and I’ll leave .’
“I’m sure he would go back there under a new ownership but I’m not sure he would go back under Ashley.”
TIF Thoughts on what Daniel Storey said about Rafa Benitez…
As can be seen in what the journalist had to say, he believes that it is unlikely Benitez would return to St. James’ Park while Mike Ashley still owns the club.
However, he did admit that he could seem him retuning to the Toon if new owners were put in place in the north east.
Would you want Rafa Benitez back at St. James' Park?
No, he's not that good
Yes, we need him back
According to a report by Chronicle Live, it seems that Newcastle supporters would welcome the Spanish manager back to the club with open arms should the opportunity arise.
So, that will likely give them another reason to hope that the ‘parked‘ Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of the club is revived sometime in the near future.