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BREAKING: Rafael Benitez leaving Newcastle; who will be next Toon boss?

Leigh Copson 24 Jun 2019
Rafael Benitez (credit:Thomas Frey/DPA/PA Images)

Rafael Benitez will Newcastle United this week after failing to agree a new deal with the club – so who will take up the challenge of following in the Spaniard’s footsteps at St James’ Park?

Benitez has been a popular figure in the North East since being appointed in March 2016, but his future has been the subject of much speculation over the past 12 months and fans had been desperate to see the 59-year-old ink a new deal with the club this summer.

The chances of that happening looked slim though, amid reports that Benitez was reportedly unhappy with the lack of assurances over the club’s transfer policy and plans for the summer, and the Newcastle Chronicle went as far as to claim that his relationship with owner Mike Ashley had broken down ‘beyond repair’.

Therefore it was no massive surprise on Monday when the club confirmed that no new deal had been agreed and that Benitez would be moving on.

“It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019,” read a statement on the club’s official website.

“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been - and will not be - possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.

“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty. The process to appoint a successor will now begin.”

Benitez’s departure is a massive blow to the Magpies and whoever agrees to take the reins from him this summer will have big shoes to fill - so who will fill them?

Garry Monk has been installed as the early 11/2 favourite for the Newcastle job by Paddy Power, just days after his controversial sacking by Championship outfit Birmingham City following a breakdown in his relationship with the club’s owners.

Highly-rated Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is next up at 7/1 to become the next permanent manager of the Magpies, while current Manchester City number two, Mikel Arteta, is 15/2 to finally take the plunge into management after being linked with several clubs during City’s treble-winning season.

Former AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso and ex-Chelsea and Manchester United chief Jose Mourinho are next up at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively, while the bookmakers are 14/1 that Chris Hughton forgives his 2010 sacking by Newcastle and returns for a second stint in charge following his recent departure from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, who reportedly snubbed Derby County this month, is 20/1 to make his return to the Premier League at St James’ Park while the same odds are available for David Moyes, Arsene Wenger and Marcelo Bielsa making the North East the next stop in their managerial careers.

Latest Paddy Power Odds

Next Newcastle United Manager: 11/2 Garry Monk, 7/1 Eddie Howe, 15/2 Mikel Arteta, 10/1 Gennaro Gattuso, 12/1 Jose Mourinho, 14/1 Chris Hughton, 16/1 Patrick Vieira, 20/1 Steven Gerrard, 20/1 David Moyes, 20/1 Marcelo Bielsa, 20/1 Arsene Wenger, 22/1 Quique Sanchez Flores, 25/1 Slaven Bilic, 25/1 Michael O’Neill, 25/1 Nigel Pearson, 25/1 Michael Laudrup, 25/1 Laurent Blanc, 25/1 Tony Pulis, 25/1 Roberto Martinez, 33/1 Massimiliano Allegri, 33/1 Christophe Galtier.

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BREAKING: Rafael Benitez leaving Newcastle; who will be next Toon boss?

Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United after failing to agree a new deal with the club – so who will take up the challenge of following in the Spaniard’s footsteps at St James’ Park?

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