Former Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner has emerged as one of the leading candidates to replace Rafael Benitez should the Spaniard leave Newcastle United, according to The Times.
The newspaper claims that the Magpies want Benitez to stay, but have begun making contingency plans in case he decides to leave the club when his contract ends in the summer.
The 47-year-old Wagner recently left his post with the Terriers having guided them to promotion and Premier League survival last year. The German is quite in-demand already as he is also attracting interest from Everton and Leicester City, who are both considering managerial changes come the summer.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is thought to be the favourite to take over if Benitez does depart, however, the former Liverpool chief has more than two years left on his deal at Parkhead.
This is very interesting indeed. It’s no surprise that Newcastle have begun exploring the possibility of what they would do if Benitez does decide to leave come the end of the season. You need to plan for these sorts of things and the club has to ensure they get it right with the next man in charge if Benitez does leave. Wagner certainly impressed greatly with Huddersfield. He arguably took the Terriers up before they were ready and then miraculously kept them in the top flight last time out. He loses nothing from walking away last month, because there’s no one who feels he could have done more for the Huddersfield cause. He likely sits behind Rodgers in the pecking order, but would be a good alternative if the Northern Irishman decided to stay in Scotland. This is all hypothetical, of course, but both these managers seem like fine candidates were Benitez to leave the club in the summer.