Mike Ashley is considering two alternatives to Rafa Benitez according to the club’s official media partner.

One of the alternatives will strike fear into pretty much all Newcastle fans, while the other is very left field.

The Sunday People (part of Trinity Mirror along with The Mirror) claim that their information is that if Rafa Benitez isn’t satisfied with Mike Ashley’s backing, the club owner will then consider Neil Warnock as a potential replacement.

The loud mouth 67 year old has had 16 different management spells in his career, mainly in the lower divisions, with his two most successful spells seeing Sheffield United promoted to the Premier League in 2006 and QPR doing the same in 2011.

It was the sacking of Neil Warnock in 2014 that led to Alan Pardew walking away from Newcastle United and replacing him at Crystal Palace.

Warnock then had a brief spell as caretaker boss at QPR, before taking on his latest role at Rotherham in February. Deep in relegation trouble in the Championship at the time, the new manager successfully kept them up in the end and after taking over his results included a run of six wins in eight games.

Whilst the idea of Neil Warnock working under Mike Ashley would be seen as a nightmare by most Newcastle fans, the other choice allegedly being considered by Ashley is ‘interesting’.

The Sunday People claim that the NUFC owner is also interested in the possibility of a Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick partnership taking over at St James Park.

Giggs is said to be looking to break into management and Michael Carrick is keen to be a player/coach under him.

The only show in town for Newcastle fans is the hope that Rafa Benitez will be given the assurances that he has undoubtedly demanded from Ashley, with the United Manager giving some interesting answers at yesterday’s press conference.

In terms of timescale, Rafa indicated a decision being made in the next fortnight and with it now less than 12 weeks to the Championship kicking off (6 August) again, time is of the essence.