Speculation around the future of Rafa Benitez continues to grow.

With a regular Summer switch around of managers at top clubs, until Rafa agrees to extend his contract at Newcastle, sadly there will be chance of these reports ending ant time soon.

Over in Serie A, the media reports are intensifying with regard to the possibility of the Newcastle boss replacing the man now being called the ‘Italian Guardiola’.

Maurizio Sarri is expected to leave Napoli at the end of the season with a host of top clubs keen to take him on.

He has a £7m release clause in his contract and with finances having only gone one way, that is a minimal amount for any top club to pay for the main man at their club.

Ironically, Maurizio Sarri actually replaced Rafa Benitez at Napoli in 2015 when moving from unfashionable Empoli, Rafa’s two year contract coming to an end and the now Newcastle boss choosing not to renew it and move on to Real Madrid.

Napoli finished fifth in that final Benitez season and Sarri has received rave reviews for the job he has done these past three seasons, leading to the ‘Guardiola’ comparisons.

In 2014/15, Napoli scored 70 goals and managed 63 points in finishing fifth.

Under Sarri, they finished second on 82 points (and 80 goals) in 2015/16, then third on 86 points (94 goals) in 2016/17, for so long this season they looked to be set to end Juventus’ six titles in a row run, only to just seem to fall short, they are on 84 points (71 goals) and four behind Juventus with three games to play.

Chelsea are one of the favourites to land the Napoli boss this summer, with Antonio Conte one of the favourites alongside Rafa Benitez to replace him.

Obviously it would be devastating for Newcastle fans if Rafa Benitez did leave for Napoli, or anywhere else, as in any switch around of managers you shudder to think what Mike Ashley would revert to, with Pardew, Carver, and McClaren, having preceded the Spaniard.

  • mactoon

    His £6 million release clause doesn’t apply in the last 12 months

    • Arty Hume

      Indeed, and that is his ace up his sleeve, but with an idiot in charge, I doubt very much if it will influence the outcome. I see Rafa going and us following the webbed feet mob in a few years.

      • pedrodelgardo

        Where will we get our socks from?

    • Paul Patterson

      That’s why the club are desperate for him to sign ..

      • Ram Kishore

        Another drivel..lets cool down

      • mactoon

        and that’s why he shouldn’t.. until he sees if Ashley backs him

  • robbersdog

    Rafa wants to stay in the UK, because he never uproots his family (who live on The Wirral) when he works abroad.

    I don’t think he’ll leave Newcastle, but if he does, I reckon that Leicester is his most likely destination.

    • TheNutJob

      Naples to Liverpool 3 hrs, no problem

      • Pozz Mozz

        No way he’s returning to Napoli.

  • TheNutJob

    Hola compadres, Newcastle under Fatty, or Naples under the sun.
    if it was i it would be Adios to the son of satan.

  • Mrkgw

    Thats him gone then. Just been reading a Chronicle article about a guarded fans forum whereby the club still cite relegation as a reason for not competing against other sides. Appalling case of manipulation and Charnley and Ashley seem to get ever worse. Despicable regime.

    • Viru leckworth

      I read the article and it was just a bunch of very guarded statements. They didn’t fill me with any optimism. And I am a glass half full sort of person. Can Ashley be naive enough to lose Rafa and flirt with yet another relegation? If this happens I foresee a mass exodus.

  • ghostrider

    If Rafa walks from 6 million a year then he can walk. I warmed to him a bit more recently but not enough to beg him to stay if he’s adamant on going.
    I don’t mind him staying to see if he can improve us with his players and without excuses.

    • Ram Kishore

      Chill pal.. Dont get too emotional..
      Did he say ” I’m gonna leave”
      Newspapers drivel everyday..
      I thought u would think and post..Every moment talking as if Rafa’s a Pantomime villain

      • ghostrider

        No emotion here. I’m just saying “IF” that’s all.

        • Ram Kishore

          It was just a transfer story created by someone or some newspaper..
          U use IF to justify and say like Rafa has already left and we don’t need him

          • ghostrider

            I don’t use IF to justify anything pertaining to truth. I use it because I’m either speculating/best guessing or, as in this case, IF whatever happens does happen then my stance would be…X stance.

            I’ve stated many times that we are all speculating and using the word “IF” and many other words to follow a story that is more of a fictional creation that can be termed loosely on fact by some and deliberate in it’s wording by the author to be pushed out that way.

            Unless something is sold as bonafide fact and can be backed up, then everything is best guess scenarios or pure speculation on all counts.

            How people perceive my words does not make my words mean what is perceived by them as me stating some entire truth unless I say it’s the entire truth.
            I generally mention speculation, which is all anyone can do without the real facts.

          • East Durham Mag

            What utter gobbledygook.