Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Club Still in Early Stages of Sourcing Replacement for Rafa - What Happens Next?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Club Still in Early Stages of Sourcing Replacement for Rafa - What Happens Next?

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WAUGH Newcastle writer chris.waugh@reachplc.com

NEWCASTLE United are still determining the direction the club will head in following confirmation that Rafa Benitez will leave once his contract expires on Sunday.

The Magpies had focused their efforts on keeping the 59-year-old at the club beyond his contract on June 30, but discussions broke down over the weekend and United released a statement on Monday stating that "it is with disappointment" that their manager is departing and "the process to appoint a successor [to Benitez] will now begin".

Speculation has been rife about who will follow Benitez as United manager - and, while agents have and will continue to propose coaches to Newcastle, a shortlist is still being compiled and is only likely to be completed in the next few days by managing director Lee Charnley.

The Magpies may wait until Benitez's contract officially expires on Sunday night before confirming a successor in the unlikely event a swift appointment can be made - and it may take around a fortnight or so before the process is completed anyway, which could mean new Under-23 head coach Neil Redfearn conducts pre-season training when it begins on Thursday, July 4. There have been suggestions that the Magpies could revert back to more of a European-style 'head coach' - the title given to Steve McClaren when he was appointed in 2015 - as opposed to a traditional British-style 'manager', but this has not been confirmed. Head of recruitment Steve Nickson is expected to continue to identify targets, and whether a new coach will have the final say on transfers remains to be seen.

The profile of coaches who will be targeted - concerning their experience, age and nationality - is also yet to be determined.

The primary reason why Newcastle remain in the infancy of their recruitment process is because the club had centred their efforts on keeping Benitez , and have only started seriously considering what life after the 59-year-old will look like in the past 24 hours or so. …

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