Rafa Benitez Keen On Newcastle Return, With Two Signings Already Identified
Rafa Benitez wants to make a return to Newcastle United amid reports the club are on the verge of being taken over by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Benitez spent three years in charge of the club between 2016 and 2019, achieving promotion from the Championship and guiding the Magpies to comfortable mid-table finishes under a tight budget.
He left upon the expiration of his contract in 2019 and wasn't out of management long before taking the reins at Chinese outfit Dalian Professional.
The Champions League-winning coach remains in his current role but according to The Telegraph, Benitez is keen on a second stint on Tyneside - particularly with the impending £300 million takeover that could be finalised this week.
It's said that Steve Bruce, the man who replaced Benitez last summer, could be given the boot if the Saudi firm are successful in acquiring the club and Benitez, still adored by the Newcastle faithful, is a leading candidate.
A key factor in Benitez not signing a new contract at St James' Park was believed to be his frustration over a lack of backing in the transfer market.
Should new investors come in from the Middle East, the same problems should not persist for the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss.
In fact, there's already talk that Benitez would like to bring in England pair John Stones and Ross Barkley from Manchester City and Chelsea respectively if he heads back to the North East.
Rafa Benitez is said to be keen on returning to Newcastle and has identified John Stones and Ross Barkley as transfer targets. (Telegraph) pic.twitter.com/ADDorgSfvX- Global Watch Football (@globalwatch_7) May 25, 2020
The former Everton colleagues have both struggled for regular first-team football this term and the pair would likely be allowed to move onto pastures new in the transfer window.