The Spanish manager was a hugely popular figure on Tyneside, and while his first spell came to an end nearly two years ago, there are still those sections of the fanbase who believe that with a new owner at the helm, he could be lured back.
It does look, however, as if that dream could be evaporating, with suggestions that Benitez could be on the cusp of a controversial move to Everton.
As an ex-Liverpool manager, that switch would always be likely to stir up emotions on Merseyside, but it would appear that it has left certain people in the Middle East flustered too – namely well-known pundit Richard Keys.
“What a bad appointment,” the Qatar-based broadcaster tweeted. “I’ve already spoken to half a dozen guys who wore the shirt & they’ve all said the same thing ‘I’m done’. (Owner Farhad) Moshiri doesn’t understand Everton if he thinks this is a good idea. Evertonians will watch Tranmere.”
Keys added: “If Benitez had any respect for himself or Liverpool he wouldn’t entertain the idea. Would Shanks (Bill Shankly) have done? (Kenny) Dalglish? (Graeme) Souness? (Roy) Evans? Any of them? Of course not.
"He left Newcastle exactly the same way – off to China when it suited him. Agent Benitez?”
On air, Keys said: “They could not make a more divisive appointment."
We’ve gathered the best of today’s Premier League speculation below...