Newcastle United identify Rafa Benitez replacement - reports

Newcastle United have reportedly identified a replacement for Rafa Benitez - should he depart this summer.

The popular Spaniard sees his current contract at St James's Park expire in the summer, and talks have thus far yielded no joy when it comes to an extension.

Newcastle United have reportedly identified a potential Rafa Benitez replacement

Newcastle United have reportedly identified a potential Rafa Benitez replacement

And with his future with the Magpies looking uncertain, reports are starting to circulate on who may succeed Benitez should he depart.

Several names have been touted in the past, with the likes of David Wagner and Brendan Rodgers popular with the bookmakers.

But L'Equipe are now claiming that Newcastle are eyeing a swoop for Lyon boss Bruno Genesio.

The 52-year-old has guided his current side to the last sixteen of the Champions League during the current campaign, but could leave at the end of his current contract this summer.

Talks between Genesio and Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas are set to decide in April whether he remains at the club and - while Genesio is reportedly keen to stay - he could be allowed to move on.

And that could potentially open up the door for him to succeed Benitez should the Newcastle boss move on.

There is still hope, however, that Benitez will remain on Tyneside - with the signing of Miguel Almiron and other behind the scenes improvements key to keeping the former Liverpool boss at the club.