Rafa Benitez seeks assurances over Newcastle job

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
  • Benitez on Newcastle’s managerial shortlist
  • Ex-Real Madrid boss seeking reassurances about club’s ambitions
  • McClaren in limbo as United board assess options

Rafa Benitez would consider an approach from Newcastle United to succeed Steve McClaren.

But the former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager would seek assurances over the club’s ambitions.

Benitez would also want to know that funds would be made available so the squad could be overhauled.

LIVE: Steve McClaren takes training at Newcastle – for the final time?

The 55-year-old, sacked by Real Madrid in January, is one of the leading contenders to replace McClaren as head coach.

Newcastle are considering their options in the wake of Saturday’s damaging 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth.

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren

The result left the club second-bottom of the Premier League and a point adrift of safety.

In the meantime, McClaren has been left to start preparations for Monday night’s game against league leaders Leicester City.

However, it is unlikely that the 54-year-old will be in the dugout at the King Power Stadium.

United manager director Lee Charnley met board members Bob Moncur and Graham Carr for talks in York on Monday.

Tellingly, McClaren, also on the club’s football board, was not invited to the meeting.

Fans chanted for McClaren’s dismissal during the Bournemouth game, but the former England coach remains in charge as Charnley plots the club’s next move.

McClaren, left in an awkward position by Newcastle’s failure to either back or sack him, yesterday took training at the club’s Benton HQ.

United are understood to be unwilling to dismiss McClaren until a suitable replacement has been identified.

Out-of-work trio Benitez, David Moyes and Nigel Pearson are the front-runners with the bookmakers.

Brendan Rodgers has also been linked with the club, while Harry Redknapp has been mooted as a short-term appointment.

Benitez is keen to manage again in the Premier League, having previously been in charge of Liverpool and Chelsea. However, the Spaniard would want a number of assurances from United before committing to the club, which appointed McClaren last summer on a three-year deal.