Date: 11th January 2018 at 9:34pm
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Newcastle United face a crucial test in the second-half of the season but they’re in danger of losing one of their key figures.

The Stoke Sentinel claims Spanish boss Rafael Benitez is being considered for the vacant post at Stoke City, with the report citing the experienced boss’ unhappiness at Newcastle due to frustrations on a takeover and lack of spending funds.

Reports of Benitez’s unhappiness first rose in the summer, when he was left with a squad he felt was not up to scratch for Premier League football, and the displays in the first-half of the season certainly suggest his assessments were correct.

Things were expected to improve when Mike Ashley confirmed the club was up for sale, with negotiations with Amanda Staveley and PCP commencing shortly afterwards, but there’s still no end in sight for the takeover discussions.

As such, Stoke may try their luck in luring Benitez to Staffordshire with the promise of funds available to improve the side and, as a well established side within the Premier League, his core squad is also likely to be better.