Reports from France suggest that under pressure Lyon manager Bruno Genesio is the subject of interest from Mike Ashley and the Magpies' hierarchy and could be eyed as a potential replacement for the popular Benitez if he departs in the summer.
The former Liverpool chief's future at St James's Park remains uncertain, as he is yet to pen a new contract despite his current deal expiring in the summer.
But while there remains hope that Benitez will remain on Tyneside, rumours have begun to circulate surrounding potential replacements.
And RMC Sport in France claim that Ashley has shown a 'concrete' interest in Genesio, identifying him as a potential replacement for Benitez.
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They claim that Genesio, who is under-fire at Lyon after a tough campaign, has enlisted the help of an agent in finding him a new job should he ultimately depart the French giants.
And the report goes on to suggest that both Newcastle and West Ham have shown strong interest should they find themselves in need of a manager come the summer.