Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Rafa Benitez responds to Pini Zahavi claims

5 years ago

The last 48 hours brought reports that Pini Zahavi has been taken on by Newcastle United to find them a new manager for next season.

French newspaper L’Equipe saying Mike Ashley has engaged the ‘Super Agent’ to identify a replacement for Rafa Benitez.

L’Equipe reporting that it is Bruno Genesio who Pini Zahavi has put to Mike Ashley as first choice replacement if/when Rafa Benitez leaves.

Genesio recently became a client of Zahavi’s and his own contract is set to end this summer as well at Lyon. With claims that his only chance of landing a new deal resting on Lyon qualifying for the Champions League, currently fighting it out with Marseille for the third and final place.

Rafa Benitez has now been asked about the newspaper exclusive.

Predictably, the Newcastle boss very relaxed about the whole thing.

Rafa saying that he isn’t surprised stories such as this are appearing after he has so far not signed a contract extension taking him beyond this summer.

The NUFC manager equating it to newspapers running transfer exclusives, pointing out how many of those end up being true…

With eight weeks and eight games of the season remaining, the clock is ticking down though.

We will all have our own ideas on exactly what is (or isn’t) going on behind the scenes but my guess would be, that Rafa Benitez is still waiting for Mike Ashley to convince him that anything or real substance is going to change in the running of the club.

Rafa Benitez:

“My experience is, they [newspapers] can talk about managers because it is an opportunity.

“They will talk about teams for me because I didn’t sign the extension [to my Newcastle contract].

“That is football.

“You cannot stop agents talking and offering people.

“It is something that is fine and it happens…but Bournemouth is my target.

“How many times can you read about players who might be signing for the club?

“I remember it at Napoli and it’s the same here.

“You will have the transfer window and you have 100 names but how many of them are accurate?

“It is the same.

“My future is Bournemouth.

“I am in contact with Lee Charnley and I will say more or less the same.

“We have to make sure we are safe, then it will be easier [to talk about other things].

“We can keep talking [in the meantime] but the main thing will be to concentrate on the games.”


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to

Have your say

© 2024 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks