Exclusive – The potential new owners of Newcastle United are ready to offer former manager Rafa Benítez the opportunity to return to the shelter in St. James' Park after their acquisition.
The Spaniard, who left Newcastle last summer after failing to sign a new contract, remains an extremely popular personality with fans as he has stayed with the club due to relegation to get them back in the premier League to lead.
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Benítez clashed with current owner Mike Ashley about his vision for the club and instead signed a lucrative contract with Chinese Super League team Dalian Professional last summer. However, a source has confirmed 90 minutes that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is ready to give Benítez a chance to return once the club's purchase is confirmed.
Amanda Staveley, who is helping to get the deal across the line, is looking for a new backroom team to manage the football side of things, and Benítez has become more likely in Newcastle due to his reputation and immense popularity Exposed candidate.
In addition to a new manager to replace Steve Bruce, Staveley also wants to make some changes to the board. Frank McParland, an experienced soccer director, is considered along with Owen Brown for a role in the club. Since both have close ties to Benítez, both would make the Spanish return much easier.
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One problem is the cost of buying Benítez from his contract. He is one of the highest paid managers, so compensation would not be cheap and the Spaniard would have to cut his wages if he returned to St. James.
"Steve Bruce is not the long-term answer and he knows it, but Newcastle is able to approach a world-class manager they know, love, and who would surely come back," revealed a source close to the situation.
"Rafa knows that he's not done on Tyneside yet, and the chance of going back to England will surely be too much for him to refuse – although Newcastle also knows he won't be cheap."
Up to 90 minutes have already been confirmed that the potential new owners are confident that their acquisition will soon be completed and they hope to be in charge by the end of the month in Newcastle.
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Improving player ranks is high on the agenda, but finding an executive capable of challenging silverware is also considered an important step.
PIF sees Benítez as the ideal candidate and the hope is that he will take the chance to return to Newcastle under new ownership.
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