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Exclusive claims Leicester set to bring in Rafa Benitez if Mike Ashley doesn’t sell Newcastle

4 years ago

An ‘exclusive’ on Sunday morning claims that Leicester want to replace Claude Puel with Rafa Benitez this summer.

The report says that if Mike Ashley doesn’t sell the club, then it is believed a lack of ambition at St James Park could be enough to attract Rafa Benitez to the Foxes.

Whilst you always need a healthy dose of scepticism with any of these ‘exclusives’, it is the constant fear for Newcastle fans of what Rafa’s breaking point would be.

There is no question that he has built up a great rapport with the Newcastle squad and fans, as well as the City, but if he is going to continue to be messed around by Mike Ashley when it comes to try and progress the club, then it is difficult to see him staying long-term.

With Sky Sports saying that their information, seemingly from the Ashley camp, is that the owner has increased the price tag on Newcastle United by £100m to £400m, it hardly gives confidence of the club being sold this summer.

Whilst Leicester have spent over £160m on new players in just the last 22 months, Rafa has actually made a profit in the transfer market for Mike Ashley/Newcastle.

This ‘exclusive’ from The Star is almost certainly correct in one respect anyway, claiming that Claude Puel’s days are numbered. The report making the point that Leicester’s owner is both ambitious and ruthless, having sacked Ranieri despite winning the Premier League and Shakespeare despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Claude Puel could make it a strange double, as he was sacked last summer by Southampton after only one year despite finishing eighth in the Premier League, albeit only six points above seventeenth.

Now Puel looks likely to end up ninth with the Foxes this season – but still get sacked once again.

After a decent start he has managed only two wins in the last 11 Premier League matches and the Leicester fans don’t seem too impressed with the football they are watching.

Only a couple of weeks ago, many Leicester supporters were praising Rafa Benitez after Newcastle outplayed the Foxes and win 2-1 away.

The Star:

Leicester EXCLUSIVE: Foxes line up Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez to replace Claude Puel.

LEICESTER CITY are lining up a summer swoop to bring Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez to the King Power Stadium.

The future of current Foxes manager Claude Puel is in serious doubt following reports of dressing room unrest – and their 5-0 hammering by Crystal Palace.

Spaniard Benitez, 58, has been hailed as a hero for keeping the Magpies in the Premier League this season, despite operating on a shoestring budget.

But though the Toon fans love him – and he is keen to stay at St James’ Park – Benitez said last week he needs greater financial clout in the transfer market.

And with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley still trying to sell the club, it could be hard for Benitez to turn down a move to the ambitious Foxes.

Ashley wants a reported £350m to let Newcastle go – but with offers of that size thin on the ground, Benitez is currently in limbo as to his future.


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