Newcastle new owners reluctantly accept Benitez won't leave Everton
Newcastle United’s new owners and fans are known admirers of Everton boss Rafa Benitez, but luring him back to St. James’ Park seems impossible.
The Spaniard left Tyneside for China after his contract expired, returning to England to link up with the Toffees in the summer.
According to The Athletic journalist George Caulkin, while the Magpies new decision-makers have all but accepted that bringing Benitez back to the club is out of reach, nothing can be completely ruled out.
He wrote on their website: “A good manager and a builder? That naturally brings us to Rafa. The Spaniard is exactly what they need. He knows the club, he is loved by fans, he knows most of the players and has kept in touch with some of them. Building is what he does.
“He was a fundamental strand of Staveley’s first bids to buy Newcastle and they’ve looked at him repeatedly since, hoping that his availability would align with their eventual purchase.
“Owen Brown, Staveley’s football lieutenant, is a close associate and friend of Benitez and at various moments it looked as though it might work. They have accepted – reluctantly – that it won’t. Benitez is honourable and has a simple rule: he doesn’t break contracts. Things can always change, I guess, but that’s where things stand.”
Benitez is well-loved by Newcastle, but leaving Goodison Park a few months into his three-year deal is off the cards.
Nothing can be ruled out, though, and the fact that the Premier League new moneybags have more than enough cash to inject into the new project at SJP makes a reunion very tempting.
However, the Toffees boss is slowly building a reputation after some fans frowned at his appointment given his Liverpool history, and he cannot afford to undo all those works at the moment.
While Financial Fair Play constrictions prevented Everton from splashing the cash heavily in the summer, things are expected to change with the likes of James Rodriguez and Moise Kean gone.
More high-earners are tipped to leave in January and next summer, and Benitez is expected to be armed with a sizeable war-chest heading into subsequent transfer windows.
The project at Goodison Park is appealing too, and it is less tedious than the rebuilding project ongoing at Newcastle.
It is only right for Benitez to remain at a place where he is slowing worming his way into the hearts of the doubters.
In other Everton news, Benitez has asked Toffees star with UEFA coaching badge to mentor Gordon.