The newspaper claims that the likes of Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira, Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard would want to know the future of the Magpies.
Even managers like Claudio Ranieri and Giovanni van Bronckhorst would want to know if Ashley is coming or going, although it probably wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for them.
Managing director Lee Charnley is conducting the search for Rafael Benitez’s replacement, and is thought to be doing so under the assumption that Ashley will remain as Newcastle owner.
There are a few interesting nuggets to delve into, here. Charnley is the man who is looking for the next Newcastle boss. That clearly means that Ashley himself isn’t overly concerned with finding the man who will take the club forward post-Benitez. The second thing to look at is that, as expected, anyone who is considering replacing the Spaniard will want to know whether the club is likely going to be sold or not. The prospective takeover by the Bin Zayed Group has been dragging on for a month and a half or so, resulting in plenty of doubts over whether it will actually happen. If you’re an ambitious young manager, like Arteta and Gerrard, would you really want to join Ashley’s Newcastle? They are both in good spots with Manchester City and Rangers respectively, so it would be a big gamble to trade that in for life under the Sports Direct tycoon. This, then, would suggest that the club could end up with a more beige appointment, a la Ranieri.