The months have turned into weeks and now the weeks have turned into days, and Rafa Benitez still doesn’t have a new deal at St James Park. His current deal is set to expire on the final day of June, yet with no breakthrough looking imminent, we’ve had a look at the next potential manager for the famous Northeast club.
Most of the fans clearly wouldn’t want one of the most popular Newcastle managers in years to leave, yet it looks like nothing can be done from this point. The Spaniard has worked wonders in his time with the Geordies, but as we reach crunch time it’s hard not to turn an eye to who could replace him, especially as The Chronicle have picked out the most likely replacements.
According to the trusty Newcastle outlet, the likes of Laurent Blanc, Gennaro Gattuso, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes are in the running. So, let’s have a look at some of these names.
David Moyes’ time with Sunderland and time spent flopping at Old Trafford too surely make him a calamity option. Meanwhile, Mourinho wouldn’t be given the budget he’s used to at St James Park outside of the takeover his name was linked alongside of late, and it would be impossible to imagine Arsene Wenger lining up a team to try and topple Arsenal (he previously said he’d never manager another English club), the side he spent 22 seasons with as a gaffer.
That leaves just Gattuso and Blanc, and we’re picking out the Frenchman as the man for the job. His last job in management was back in 2016 when he left PSG on mutual consent, and looking back it was a harsh call for him to depart. Meanwhile, Gattuso has recently been let go by AC Milan after failing to secure Champions League football.
It’s hard to see a way in which Blanc wouldn’t be able to adapt to the managerial role at Newcastle United. The former defender picked up the nickname ‘Le Président’ during his time as a player at Marseille for his incredible leadership skills, and those kind of skills will be crucial for any manager set to take up the reigns of Newcastle post-Benitez.
The Frenchman, should he join Newcastle, would only be taking his fourth job in management, and his first in England. After a three year absence from the dugout and at the age of 53-years-old, there’s no reason why the Northeast wouldn’t be an ideal location. FourFourTwo did talk up his ability to promote youngsters, keep egos in check and play an attacking brand of football, traits which would surely stand him in good stead should he walk into a club reeling after Benitez’s departure.
Having won the league with Bordeaux, the World Cup-winning defender has also proven he’s far from a chequebook manager, something that’d stand him in good stead on Tyneside considering the budgets often afforded in the transfer market by Mike Ashley.
If you’re sceptical over Blanc returning to football, just a matter of months ago he was in contention for the vacant Man United job, which Sky Sports reported. We know that Newcastle are far from the club that Man United are, but it could prove a brilliant option for Blanc to get back on his feet with, and whilst following Benitez would be tough, Blanc has the credentials to do so.
Newcastle fans, would you take Laurent Blanc if Benitez leaves? Comment below!
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