With Rafa Benitez having left his job in China and Newcastle United currently enduring a truly torrid run of form, sections of the support may have dreamed about an emotional return.
However, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has put that to bed.
What’s the story?
Responding to a comment on Twitter, Balague revealed that a return to St. James’ Park under this ownership was just not a possibility for the 60-year-old after an acrimonious departure.
While he did hint that there could be some unfinished business should the club be sold, a dramatic comeback at the moment seems to be nothing more than a dream.
It’s certainly barely surprising but to see it all but confirmed by a renowned journalist is disappointing.
Given Benitez’s connection with the Newcastle fanbase, perhaps there was a school of thought to at least hope he could be tempted back on a short-term basis though, in truth, that never really seemed realistic considering the manner of his exit back in the summer of 2019.
Liam Kennedy of the Shields Gazette recently told the NUFC Matters podcast with Steve Wraith that Benitez would be in pole position for the job if the Mike Ashley era finally ended soon but, as with all takeover talk, it’s hard to see that being anything more than a pipe dream.
Writing in his BBC column on the matter, Balague suggested Benitez is waiting to see what happens in England about the idea of returning to work in the Premier League, which is a reasonably upsetting idea.
Indeed, perhaps Newcastle will come up against a side coached by their former manager. Given who’s currently in charge, it’d be hard to back them to come away from that potential game with a result.