Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Is Still the Man for Magpies; Benitez Is the Chosen One for Magpies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Is Still the Man for Magpies; Benitez Is the Chosen One for Magpies

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh

RAFA Benitez remains Newcastle United's number one choice to replace beleaguered head coach Steve McClaren, and the Spaniard is understood to be receptive to taking on the role - if he is given adequate reassurances.

The Magpies' dithering means their head coach remains in situ five days after his position appeared untenable, with a large proportion of the St James' Park crowd calling for McClaren to be sacked during the dreadful 3-1 loss to AFC Bournemouth, and the club will be forced into making a decision either way within the next 48 hours.

It is understood that McClaren has still yet to be receive any assurances over his future, despite having taken training ahead of Monday's trip to Leicester City, and he is believed to be extremely unhappy with his treatment.

A planned meeting between McClaren and Lee Charnley scheduled for yesterday did not happen, with the former heading home after speaking with the club's managing director over the phone instead.

Newcastle are impressed with how McClaren has handled himself in a professional sense, but he is still likely to be dismissed.

United are required, under Premier League regulations, to hold a prematch Press conference before the visit to the King Power Stadium, but as yet they have not announced when it will take place.

While McClaren has been preparing the Magpies squad for the daunting trip to the table-topping Foxes, Newcastle have used intermediaries to continue negotiations with former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss Benitez.

The 55-year-old has been out of work since January after being sacked by Real Madrid, and he is Turn to Page 50 FROM BACK PAGE back in England at his family home in The Wirral.

It is understood that Benitez would be receptive to a lucrative 10-game salvation role at United until the end of the season. …

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