Newcastle United have approached Rafa Benitez to replace Steve McClaren.

United’s media partner, The Mirror, revealed that Newcastle have made contact with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss.

However, they describe the work in replacing Steve McClaren as ‘progressing slowly’ and they are a long way from convincing him as yet.

I still find it hard to believe Newcastle would have any intention of employing a credible manager like Rafa Benitez to replace the yes men/no power model that has seen us landed with Pardew, Carver and the current clown.

Rafa Benitez has been widely reported as being interested in a return to the Premier League but I find it hard to imagine him having the remotest interest in the Newcastle job if it was only to the end of the season.

Coming into the mess that is Newcastle United and potentially having a big black mark on his career record if United were relegated, wouldn’t do his hopes of a decent PL job any good.

If Mike Ashley was to accept he has got it all wrong and offer Rafa Benitez the chance to run the whole show at Newcastle (including final say on transfers) on a long-term deal if he kept them up, then I do think there would be a chance of the Spaniard being interested.

It is a huge IF though and whatever Mike Ashley’s intentions are, doing things properly as from now must be the longest longshot of all.

The Mirror on Newcastle and Rafa Benitez:

‘Rafa Benitez has been targeted by Newcastle to replace Steve McClaren as Newcastle boss.

Benitez, who was axed from the Bernabeu in January, is keen on a return to the Premier League and has had contact from United.

But no deal has been done and while Bentiez has yet to turn down the opportunity, he needs convincing about the powers he would have to reshape the club in the long run.

Newcastle officials have been considering future coaching options for days, and won’t sack McClaren until they have got his replacement lined up.

Benitez is being considered but will demand guarantees and influence behind the scenes, as well as on the training ground, if he is to say yes, and he is not yet convinced.

It is understood behind the scenes work is progressing slowly on making a change.’