Newcastle United presenter Steve Wraith has dismissed any idea that former boss Rafael Benitez will return to manage the side.
Newcastle’s long-awaited takeover was finally completed last night, with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) ending the 14-year rule of Mike Ashley at St. James’ Park and offering a bright future for the club with owners who appear to be committed to investing in the club.
One potential change that could be on the horizon is in the dugout, with current boss Steve Bruce stating: “I want to continue [as manager] but I have to be realistic. I’m not stupid and aware what could happen with new owners.”
There were suggestions back in 2020 that Benitez could make a return to the club once the deal was completed, something that no doubt would have made a number of Newcastle United supporters happy given the relationship that he has with the fanbase.
However, speaking about the issue on the latest edition of NUFC Matters, Wraith revealed that, according to his sources, it was highly unlikely that the Spaniard would jump ship from his current job at Everton even with the deal now going through:
“The answer’s no. And the reason being, and I did speak to his agent today, who’s a very good friend of mine as everybody knows; Rafa has got a contract and he’s at Everton, it’s come too late, the takeover’s come too late for him, and that for me, is a big pity.
“I know some people will be disappointed, I know other people will be happy. A lot of people didn’t quite like Rafa’s style of play.”
TIF Thoughts on Steve Wraith’s comments about Rafael Benitez and Newcastle United…
Should Steve Bruce be replaced immediately?
Appointing someone like Benitez certainly would have been a popular appointment amongst the fanbase, and given his track record when it comes to winning trophies, with new investment available to him – something that wasn’t always available when he was working with former owner Mike Ashley – he could have been able to repeat some of that success with Newcastle United.
It’s just a shame that the deal had to be dragged out as long as it did, otherwise the fans would have been given another reason to celebrate on top of the deal being completed.
But as Wraith says, given the timing of things, it looks unlikely to happen at this moment in time, although that’s not to say it can’t happen at some point in the future if he becomes available again.