Rafa Benitez Could Stay At St James Park Even If Newcastle Go Down
From Champions League to the Championship. For a while all neutrals kind of hoped that's exactly how Chelsea's season was going but instead it could be how the year goes for former Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez.
Rafa was a very astute appointment at St James' Park when the club finally did away with Steve McLaren's services earlier this year, the problem was it all came too late and despite an upturn in form, Aston Villa aside, Newcastle are highly likely to go down. In fact the Magpies will go down tonight if Sunderland beat Everton, something highly likely considering how poor Everton are right now.
It was pretty much assumed that if he couldn't save them from the drop, a second relegation into the Premier League in just seven years, then Benitez, who started the season in charge at the Bernabeu, would leave the club.
However according to a report in the Mail the Spaniard is actually starting to be open to sticking around in the North East even if they go down. Supposedly he's had a "change of heart in the last 48 hours."
The former Liverpool gaffer has apparently warmed to the club because of the crowd and promises over decision making, budget and general control of the team and a belief that if he sticks around he can lead the North East side back to the Premier League and into Europe at some point.
The Mail's report says that the 56 year old has already discussed changes to the side's training facilities with the club's hierarchy as he tries to improve the club from top to bottom, not exactly the actions of a man set to leave his job.
If Newcastle do get relegated the former Valencia boss is free to leave his job because of a clause in his contract but it sounds like he's starting to lean towards an extended spell on Tyneside.
From Champions League to Championship and back again, the Rafa Benitez story- it certainly has a ring to it...
(h/t Daily Mail)