LIVE: Newcastle close in on Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United are hopeful Rafa Benitez can be persuaded to take over at St James's Park.

Benitez has emerged as the club's preferred option to succeed head coach Steve McClaren.

The 55-year-old, sacked as Real Madrid manager in January, is keen to manage again in the Premier League.

And the Spaniard is understood to be interested in taking over at Newcastle.

However, Benitez is seeking reassurances on a number of issues, notably recruitment, and talks are ongoing.

United area yet to dismiss McClaren, whose side are 19th in the league with 10 games left to play.

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren

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