Rafael Benitez could be set to make a Premier League return with Newcastle United, with Steve McClaren’s tenure at St. James’ Park set to come to an end.
The Mail have now reported that the Spaniard is due to meet with Newcastle’s club officials later today, and could be installed as the new Magpies’ boss before their clash at Leicester on Monday night.
Spanish newspaper, Marca, report that the deal is done and Benitez will sign a three-year-deal – with a relegation get-out clause should he fail to save Newcastle from the drop.
Several media outlets had already been reporting throughout the week that the ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss is the top target to replace Steve McClaren at St. James’ Park, after McClaren’s job was thrown into disrepute after Saturday’s 3-1 surrender at home to AFC Bournemouth.
The Mirror reported earlier in the week that Newcastle had sounded out Benitez to take the reigns at Newcastle, and that the 55-year-old was interested in the opportunity.
It is still understood that Benitez would need convincing to take the job, particularly regarding the powers he would have in order to reshape the club in the long term. If he were to take the job, it is expected that Benitez would be given a “manager” role, as opposed to the “head coach” title currently occupied by Steve McClaren.
Newcastle do not want to sack McClaren unless they have a suitable replacement firmly lined up, hence why no news on McClaren’s expected departure has officially been confirmed.
An announcement could be expected by the end of today.