Next Spain Manager: Newcastle braced for fresh speculation surrounding the future of Rafa Benitez

by Jack Kitson / 13 June 2018, 08:54

Newcastle United could be braced for another heavy dose of speculation linking their boss Rafa Benitez with a move away from St James’ Park after Real Madrid revealed that Spain manager Julen Lopetegui will replace Zinedine Zidane after the World Cup comes to a close.

Read: Who is Julen Lopetegui?

Earlier in the summer Benitez was hotly linked with a switch to Newcastle's Premier League rivals West Ham, however nothing ever materialised, with the Hammers subsequently appointing former Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

At the time of writing Benitez is a 15/2 shot to replace Claude Puel at Leicester, should the Frenchman be axed, while he’s a 33/1 outsider to return to Chelsea.

But, with the Spanish FA set to start the search for a new manager, it would be no surprise to see Benitez’s name thrown into the mix for the international post.

The Spaniard, who has been in charge of Newcastle since March 2016, is currently enjoying his 11th tenure in senior management, and last season he successfully guided his troops to a credible 10th place finish on their return to the Premier League.

During his career in the dugout Benitez has managed extensively at club level in England, Spain and Italy, but he’s not yet ventured into the managerial arena.

Considering the abundance of stellar players in the Spanish squad, he’d no doubt be tempted by the imminent vacancy at the helm of his own country, although he’d have huge shoes to fill should Lopetegui lead La Roja to World Cup glory this summer.

In the meantime Spain have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning, where they may reveal what route they are going to take, regarding Lopetegui’s replacement.

Although according to Football Espana Lopetegui could actually depart his post on the eve of the tournament…!

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