Newcastle Draw Up Managerial Shortlist That Includes Steven Gerrard And Mikel Arteta
Newcastle United have drawn up a managerial shortlist as they look to replace Rafael Benitez.
The club confirmed earlier this week that the Spaniard will leave his position as manager when his contract ends.
"It is with disappointment we announce Rafael Benítez will leave NUFC upon expiry of his contract." they said in a statement.
"We have worked hard to extend Rafa's contract over a period of time, however it has not been, and will not be, possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives."
It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.- Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 24, 2019
Full club statement: https://t.co/IscVOvLxGD #NUFC pic.twitter.com/DWeBkpRubP
Speculation has since been rife about who will replace him, with The Telegraph now reporting that Steven Gerrard is one of their main targets.
Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta also features in the shortlist alongside OGC Nice manager Patrick Vieira.
Newcastle are also keen on bringing Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe to St James' Park, but the club 'are not confident about convincing him to move to the North East.'
Sean Dyche and Steve Bruce are seen as fallback options, according to the report.
Exclusive: Patrick Vieira and Steven Gerrard on Newcastle shortlist in search for Rafael Benitez replacementhttps://t.co/PHEDfUIgD5- Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 26, 2019
Gerrard, who is currently in charge at Scottish Premiership side Rangers, recently turned down the job at Derby County after they gave Frank Lampard permission to speak with Chelsea.
Arteta has also been heavily linked with the role, while Vieira has spoken to Newcastle before they appointed former England boss Steve McClaren in 2015.
But the fact that Jose Mourinho's name is nowhere to be seen may disappoint some Newcastle fans.
At the start of the week, Mourinho emerged as the strong favourite to become the next manager, and was the 3/1 outright favourite to become Newcastle manager.
"Jose Mourinho's usual mandate is that the club he is joining is one of the biggest and wealthiest in the country," said Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson.
"So joining Mike Ashley's Newcastle, where the purse strings are notoriously tight, seems pretty far-fetched.
"This isn't stopping the money piling in though, with Mourinho continuing to prove popular."
In August last year, the Portuguese boss was asked to give his thoughts on the St. James' Park club.
"I like to go there," he said about Newcastle. "I like the feeling of going to Mr Robson's home. I like that feeling.
"I like the stadium. I like the atmosphere. They are a good, enthusiastic crowd. I like the Geordies."
But it looks like Newcastle want either Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard or Mikel Arteta.
Thoughts on the shortlist?
Let us know in the comments.