By all accounts Newcastle United remain all-in on the idea that Rafael Benitez will remain as manager despite the fact that he now has only nine days remaining on his contract.
However, as per the Northern Echo, he is currently mulling up a £12million-per-year offer from China, which he may or may not accept.
You’d think, then, that at some point or another the Magpies need to start considering what life would look like sans Benitez. With that in mind, they should put the feelers out to former France manager Laurent Blanc.
The Chronicle reported on Saturday that the former Manchester United defender is an option for Newcastle should Benitez opt to walk away from the club. Furthermore, he is said to be keen on a move to England.
While obviously the primary option remains Benitez staying where he is, Blanc would be an ideal replacement for the Spaniard should the need arise.
The 53-year-old is a four time Ligue 1 title winner across the Channel, three of them with Paris Saint-Germain and one with underdog Bordeaux in 2009. Clearly, he is an inspiring figure and is hugely respected for what he did as a player and now as a manager.
In many ways, the Frenchman is similar to Benitez. He is a proven, world class manager, but is someone who wants to manage in England and would be attainable for Newcastle. Furthermore, he comes with a similar track record of success to the former Liverpool boss.
Both men are somewhat reserved in their manner; serious men who devote themselves to the tactical aspect of management. Again, keeping Benitez should be the priority, but Blanc is a perfect successor should Rafa walk out the St James’ Park exit door.