By Matthew Shaw

11th Oct, 2021 | 7:10am

Rafa Benitez unlikely to leave Everton despite huge Newcastle affection

Rafa Benitez leaving Everton to take over at Newcastle would be massively surprising, according to Greg O’Keeffe.

After the Magpies became the richest club in the world last week, rumours have started swirling surrounding the future of the Spaniard.

The Athletic journalist has eased those concerns though, admitting that Benitez has loved returning to Merseyside and is loyal to his job.

Writing in an Athletic Mailbag, O’Keeffe shared that there should be no reason for panic at Goodison Park despite “huge” affection for his old club.

“Given Everton’s recent misfortune with managers leaving when wealthier former clubs flutter their eyelashes, it’s understandable,” he wrote. “But in this case, I don’t think there’s any need to worry.

“Benitez is a loyal man. He is loving being back in his adopted home area of Merseyside and remains excited about the potential to move Everton forward under Farhad Moshiri and with the new stadium on the horizon.

“As much as he undoubtedly retains huge affection for Newcastle, the city and that club’s supporters, I’d be very surprised if he scarpered any time soon.”

No panic.

As mentioned, Benitez has never been one to disobey his contract and go manage wherever the money is calling him.

The Spaniard has had a great start, and now there is money available to spend at Goodison Park, he can firmly build on that past January.

Newcastle is a complete rebuild job, and although he will have all the money in the world to do that, we still think it will take years for them to catch up with the likes of the Toffees.

World-class players aren’t just going to immediately want to move to the northeast because of the money, and they will need to prove themselves before that happens.

Benitez is a smart man, he will stick around at Everton and push for European football this season, never mind moving just because of affection.

In other Everton news, the Toffees want to sign colossal defender, inquiries made after Euro scout mission – report

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