Newcastle United news: Two shock names emerge as favourites to replace Rafa Benitez as winger deal reportedly edges closer

Avram Grant is one shock contender to emerge as a frontrunner to replace Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.

Monday, 24th June 2019, 6:10 pm
TOPSHOT - New Zealand's English coach Anthony Hudson looks on during the start of the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg on June 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

United announced this morning that Benitez’s three-year tenure at St James’s Park would come to an end on Sunday, when his current contract runs out.

And since then rumours have been flying about as to who could replace him in the Magpies’ hotseat.

Jose Mourinho was installed as an early favourite by the bookmakers, with Mikel Arteta and Garry Monk also fancied, but, according to Sky Sports, it is another former Chelsea manager, Grant, who is firmly in the running to step into the considerable hole left behind after Benitez’s exit.

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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez gestures during the final minutes of the game during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 10, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Israeli Grant has most recently been working as an advisor to a side called NorthEast United in the Indian Super League, before that he was Ghana coach from 2014 to 2017. The Daily Mail has since refuted Sky’s claim.

Another name mentioned in various reports is that of relative unknown candidate Anthony Hudson.

Hudson is a former Tottenham Hotspur reserve manager, who has since worked in the MLS with Colorado Rapids, as well as on the international stage with New Zealand and Bahrain. He also had a short spell as manager of Newport County.

According to TeamTALK, United chief Lee Charnley is set to hold talks with the America via Skype today, following the news of Benitez’s exit.

Either of these appointments, especially Hudson, is unlikely to appease fan anger at United.

Meanwhile, despite the club’s managerial uncertainty, reports in France claim OGC Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin is close to agreeing personal terms over a £25million move.