Newcastle put off by £9m fee for Celtic man as Rafa Benitez gets backed by Mike Ashley

Newcastle United are unlikely to raid Celtic this winter should their Premier League form not improve - despite being linked with a move for Brendan Rodgers.

Rafa Benitez's future has been the subject of speculation over the last few weeks with a 1-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday extending the club's winless start to the season.

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley

However, despite reports suggesting Newcastle are keeping tabs on Rodgers, the 58-year-old Spaniard is said to have the full backing of owner Mike Ashley, who is not looking to sack him.

Even if Benitez were to be relieved of his duties, Ashley would be unlikely to move for Rodgers with Celtic set to demand a £9million compensation fee.

Ashley has never paid compensation for a manager before, with all of his appointments having either been out of work or promoted internally.

Rodgers, in his third year in Scotland, was also said to be attracting the interest of Leicester City. The Northern Irishman has led Celtic to successive trebles and took Liverpool to a runners-up spot in the Premier league during his three years at Anfield.