Rafa Benitez has hardly enjoyed a smooth ride as Newcastle manager, with speculation over his future having been rife ever since he took over the reins in March 2016.
However, after masterminding the Magpies return to the Premier League and re-establishing them as a top-flight club, the time has now come for the 59-year-old to move on. With Newcastle reportedly locked in talks regarding a potential takeover of the club, it is anyone’s guess who will succeed him in the dugout!
We have taken a look at three potential options that the Newcastle board could consider….
Dyche has been impressing throughout his seven years in charge of Burnley and has proven his ability at keeping the Clarets in the Premier League.
The 47-year-old has also shown he can work under tight financial restrictions by Premier League standards and that could be music to the ears of current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has been reluctant to splash the cash during his time at St James’ Park.
Dyche certainly has plenty of Premier League experience, but his potential appointment would perhaps send out the wrong kind of message to Newcastle supporters, as it would seem their ambitions are about staying in the top-flight rather than looking to kick-on.
Appointing Mourinho would certainly not lack ambition, but this is only likely to go through if the takeover of Newcastle is completed, as the Portuguese is unlikely to come cheap and would want considerable money to spend in the transfer market.
There is no doubting the 56-year-old’s winning mentality and he would certainly be able to attract some big names to St James’ Park, but there does have to be a question mark against his name given how things have unravelled over recent years at both Chelsea and Manchester United.
It feels like Monk has been unable to catch a break in his short but active managerial career, as he has done a good job at Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham since retiring from playing in 2014, but has lasted less than two years in all of those roles.
Indeed, the 40-year-old only left his most recent position with Birmingham earlier this month, but he could prove a shrewd appointment for Newcastle, although he did depart the Blues due to a disagreement over transfers, something that Benitez has been battling at St James’ Park for years.