Rafa Benitez is committed to the cause at Everton and will not move to Newcastle United in the near future, according to The Northern Echo.
What’s the latest Newcastle United manager news?
Given Benitez was a hugely controversial appointment at Goodison Park earlier this summer, as well as an almost universally popular figure on Tyneside, the likes of Football Insider have claimed those behind the scenes are keen to explore the possibility of bringing him back.
Still, the 61-year-old is understood to have used an intermediary to rule out any possibility of a move back to the club he managed between 2016 and 2019 at this stage.
With that in mind, Newcastle will have to look elsewhere. Indeed, the report also reaffirms the suggestions that talks have been held with the out-of-work Paulo Fonseca, as well as the fact former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is keen on the job.
How much of a blow is this to Newcastle?
Considering where Newcastle are at the moment, Benitez looks the perfect appointment.
To come in mid-season and stabilise before building on better resources (should the club manage to stave off relegation), there would appear to be few better candidates than the Spaniard, particularly given his connection to the club already.
So, the fact he remains committed to his current job project is clearly not a good thing from a Newcastle perspective, albeit the notion of buying him out of his contract at Everton only months into it never seemed wholly realistic.
What has been said about Benitez and Newcastle?
Pundit Kevin Phillips recently told Football Insider suggested Benitez would not be open to the idea of a move back to Newcastle at this stage.
“I think he is happy where he is at the moment. I know he has an affinity with the Newcastle fans but he is doing an excellent job at Everton. They were fantastic at Man United,” he said.
“I can understand why Newcastle might want him to come back. He is a top-quality manager at the end of the day.
“But he is back in Liverpool, an area which he loves, and he’s doing well. I think he is happy where he is.
“I don’t think that has much legs at all. I think he’d make it very clear to Newcastle that he is happy at Everton if that situation arose.”