Newcastle United news: Benitez touted for Everton job, injury worry for Villa

Karl Darlow, Rafa Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic
Karl Darlow, Rafa Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic

Rafa Benitez has today been linked with the Everton job as speculation mounts over the future of Roberto Martinez.

Benitez has a clause in his Newcastle United contract allowing him to leave in the event of relegation.

And the club's manager has been touted as a potential successor to Martinez, who could lose his job at the end of the season.

Up to now, the 56-year-old – whose family live on Merseyside – has refused to look beyond the next game.

Benitez, sweating on the fitness of Vurnon Anita, is preparing his players for Saturday's must-win game against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Newcastle climbed out of the Premier League's relegation zone last weekend thanks to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Sunderland, meanwhile, drew 1-1 at Stoke City thanks to an injury-time penalty from Jermain Defoe.

And Sam Allardyce, the club's manager, has given his team a blunt warning ahead of their matches against Chelsea and Everton.

Finally, United winger Andros Townsend – whose stunning free-kick claimed all three points from Palace – has revealed the secret behind the success of the set-piece.