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A hugely popular figure on Tyneside following his spell in charge between 2016 and 2019, the Spaniard was strongly linked with an emotional return to St James’ Park under the club’s potential new ownership.
However, with the takeover saga dragging on (to say the least), the 61-year-old has since made a controversial move to Everton, a decision that sections of their fanbase seem to be against given some of the reaction against it.
What did Benitez say about Newcastle?
“I was following them (Newcastle) when I was in China (with Dalian Professional),” he said (via The Chronicle).
“I was in contact with a lot of people, I was expecting maybe something will happen.
“It didn’t happen. That’s it.”
Should we be surprised?
Even after leaving in 2019, the former Real Madrid coach admitted that he would still be in charge if he felt those at the top of the club shared his ambition. So, the idea of new owners coming in and actually spending money (although, there are some very valid questions in regards to sportswashing) would surely have appealed to him.
Still, like so many of the plans supporters of the club may have had in mind when news of a potential takeover broke in 2020, the prospect of his return now lies in ruins. Perhaps that won’t be a long-term worry considering the vociferous reaction against him at Goodison Park but, for now, Newcastle will have to go on as it is.
As thoroughly underwhelming an idea as that is, it is the sad reality of the situation.