Stoke City are allegedly monitoring the Rafa Benitez situation at St James Park.

With Mark Hughes sacked and the Potters in the relegation zone, little wonder that they are looking for a decent manager.

With only 16 Premier League matches remaining, their stay in the top tier is looking in doubt.

Their local paper, The Stoke Sentinel, has reported the following:

‘Stoke’s hierarchy is also aware of continued murmurings about Rafa Benitez’s apparent unhappiness at Newcastle.

It was believed that Benitez would not even consider leaving Newcastle until seeing how much money he was allowed to spend by the end of the January transfer window.

But stories continue to seep out of Tyneside about his evident fury behind the scenes at not getting his way on spending while a club takeover drags on.’

Well, we have our problems on Tyneside, but if we lost Rafa Benitez to Stoke City then we might as well all pack it in.

It was Rafa Benitez who approached Newcastle United when Steve McClaren was belatedly sacked, not the other way round.

Looking for another club after Real Madrid (that is…Real Madrid), Rafa was interested in Newcastle because he sees the potential at the club.

He has stated this many many times since taking on the job and it has never changed, Newcastle United do have, and will always have, potential to be a far bigger and powerful entity than they are now, but we are still just at the potential stage.

One thing for sure though, if/when Rafa Benitez does leave Newcastle, he won’t be turning up at Stoke City.

Since 2001 his roll call of clubs has been Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Newcastle United…

The Spaniard isn’t going to be like an ageing pro dropping down the ranks trying to get a game/job wherever he can.

If it doesn’t happen at Newcastle then he wouldn’t just go to any Premier League club, I reckon there are probably only the obvious six or so clubs that he would potentially be prepared to go to and for various reasons none of those will happen. Everton are ruled out by the Liverpool connection and so just maybe you could see West Ham as a club he could go to as an outside bet but even they are dubious.

Rafa Benitez won’t need the money but he does clearly still have the drive to try and succeed.

I do believe he sees Newcastle United as this massive final project of his managerial career, where he can turn the club around over a period of years and enable it to fulfil its potential.

If that fails to happen…well who knows. My money would be him maybe taking on a director of football role somewhere, or potentially managing abroad again, despite his preference to be close to his family home in the north west.

Rafa wants to be here on Tyneside, just as the Newcastle fans want him here as well.

We are now surely at a point where Mike Ashley has to go, or else there is no chance of Rafa Benitez staying here and/or completing what he set out to do at St James Park.

I don’t believe that Rafa would leave mid-season, either due to no January transfer funds being forthcoming or Mike Ashley sticking around, but just like the 11 seasons of Ashley have done to the fans, every extra day the Fat Controller remains in control a little part of you feels like giving up.

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  • TheNutJob

    there is NO potential whilst Fatty`s here. one will go in the summer

    • Peaky Magpie

      Just seen him pass my house……..only kidding !!!! 😂

      • Kneebotherm8

        Keep lookin’ there’s many a true thing said in jest………. he could turn up down there yet..

        • Peaky Magpie

          They don’t understand my accent down here how they would manage with Rafa”s I’ve nee idea ???

  • mentalman

    he approached the club because they were within travelling distance of his family and were the only club who could potentially pay him how much he wanted

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Im worn out with it all personally. It either needs to through or im out. Its too energy sapping and depressing being the fan of a club owned by Mike Ashley. Hes a cancer plain and simple.

    I think if Rafa isnt backed he should walk and only come back if takeover happens. Im sure there will be a clause that he wont have to pay if he came back to us under a new owner rather than jump to another club.

    Ashley takes everyone for mugs and Rafa doesnt deserve that nor do the fans. Rafa is better than Ashley. I wouldnt blame him walking. Ashley is a lost cause.

    Im so battered and bruised by it all im beginning to stop/wanting not to care. Ive noticed this is starting to happen to even diehard fans now. All we are clinging to is hope. Supporting the club when its agenda is to have no ambition is rotten and against the whole code of why a football club exists. It make you tired, angry, frustrated and stressed. For the time love money and devotion given to the club the fans deserve way better.

    Ashley you are a horrible human being.

    Hopefully the light comes after the darkness.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Same here mate,they say no news is good news but come on this silence day after day is draining and quite frankly soul destroying.

    • Cockneytrev

      Well put,,
      I can’t see how he got through the fit and able persons,,

    • Toonrobbybobson

      The damage hes done to this great club is unforgivable. It is also intentional. Hes engineered everything to not spend a dime in January and the past summer and last January. Remember its a year since he pulled the rug on Townsend returning and giving Rafa nothing. He wants to horde the cash so he can pay down his loan. He holds all the cards unfortunately.

  • robbersdog

    Actually, I can envisage a scenario in which Rafa walks out on NUFC at the end of this month, and agrees to manage Stoke until the end of the season. If he keeps them up, his reputation will be enhanced and he’ll earn a big bonus. Also, Stoke is only an hour’s drive (55 miles) from his home in Liverpool.

    I think this article is very patronising to clubs like Stoke and West Ham – which both have far more ambitious owners than Mike ‘Scrooge’ Ashley.

    • Coble’s Return

      I get that Ashley may well drive Rafa out of Newcastle with his lies, deceit and penny pinching, but – Stoke City!? I can’t see that. For a start, he has been there before as a visiting manager and like the rest of us, I doubt he would want to repeat the experience more often than is necessary. Secondly, Stoke City have surely peaked in terms of reaching their potential with the runners up slot in the cup and the brief foray in the Europa League.

      I think that Rafa will see out the season here, or at least stay until such point as the prospect of a takeover is dead in the water. He seems to want the long term project, albeit with the backing of a decent owner. If that proves not to be here, it won’t be in Stoke either.

      • robbersdog

        Yes, I know that Rafa wants the long-term project, which is why I said that he might, under circumstances in which he has walked out on Newcastle, agree to take the Stoke job until the end of the season. If, as is likely, they improved under his stewardship, it wouldn’t do his reputation or his bank balance any harm. Also, he likes to work and it’s close to home.

        I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I wouldn’t sneer at the prospect like the writer of this article has done.

        • mentalman

          If he leaves he’ll never go to another relegation threatened club, two relegation’s would ruin his reputation

          • robbersdog

            Good point; it’s quite possible that Newcastle and Stoke will both be relegated!

      • Jezza

        Rafa might see Stoke as a worthwhile stop gap project till a top job comes along.

    • Damon Horner

      I read they want Bilic and he won’t go until the end of the season. If we continue to go down the route of not even talking about budgets I agree it’s plausible and suits both Stoke and Rafa,

      • robbersdog

        I’m not sure why they’d want Bilic; he looked like a bit of a busted flush by the time West Ham sacked him.

        • mentalman

          they have apparently made an offer for Gary Rowlett

        • Damon Horner

          Just checked where I read it. The Sun… Say no more!

    • Kneebotherm8

      Fair comment.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Didn’t Rafa want any new signings in by January 20th ?? 10th now and not a sniff except stupid non starting rumours.

    • Jezza

      Ha ha they won’t even start making half hearted attempts to get one of two duffers on loan till around the evening of the 29th.

      • Peaky Magpie

        Aye and one of them will be another goalie that we don’t really need at this stage of the season.

  • anyobrien

    There was a time not long ago a lot of posters on here wanted him out due to his stubbornness and his lack of tactical nouse….. So I guess him leaving want be to big a loss eh…

  • Kneebotherm8

    Could end up as a straight swap and we end up with Mark Hughes……………..

    • robbersdog

      That would be like swapping a diamond for a bowl of sh*t.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Couldn’t agree more…………

      • Jezza

        Well NUFC’s owner is a bowl of sh*t so we’d have a manager to match.

    • Rich Lawson

      It’s the closest we’re going to get to a quality centre forward this season !

    • nufcslf

      That’s a real worry, although he might at least take Joselu back with him. What nightmare this club is and this is now just plain funny.

      • Jezza

        He wouldn’t take Joselu back because unlike Ashley Stoke would give him a decent transfer budget and he’d be able to sign a much better striker.

        • nufcslf

          How very true. Lets hope we don’t have to find out.

  • paul

    rafa has slot of friends at stoke he went there and coached a little when he was out of work .he has a lot of friends there

  • Pardews-love-child

    Would not blame him if he went, I wounder if Stoke are interested enough to buy out his contract?

  • hetonmag

    Howay man it’ll be like moving from Darras Hall to Pennywell.

  • HappyToons

    Rafa to Sunderland…more chance.

  • magpiefifer

    The only reason why Rafa is still at SJP is his loyalty to the fans and squad.I wouldn’t blame him for leaving – and who’s to say that being at Stoke is as bad as some fans believe – compared to having to suffer Ashley,LIKE THE FANS!!

    • steve

      That plus he’s one of the highest paid managers in the world and has been sacked from his last few jobs.

  • wheyayeman

    The ‘Potential’ of Nufc is a ‘solid apparition’ I say that because it exists, it’s pretty solid in fact. It’s not just the fans, the history, the stadium etc it’s because we can all of us to a man imagine it, we’re all stirred by it, Rafa keeps speaking about it, you can see it – almost touch it but then we can’t shake the reality of knowing who owns it and while he remains in charge no such potential even exists.

  • Aussie Bill

    A little whisper is that he may take Australia to the World Cup finals in Russia.