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Celtic legend explains what is needed for them to land Rafa Benitez as their next manager

6 months ago
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Rafa Benitez had the look of a man on Friday night, who knows that it is job done.

Newcastle beating Leicester and now 10 points clear of the relegation zone with four games to play.

It is also now exactly four weeks until the manager takes charge of the final match of his current NUFC contract.

Plenty of rumours and speculation but short on action so far, with fears that Mike Ashley has no intention of doing anything close to what it would take to convince the Spaniard to stay on.

As to alternative clubs Rafa Benitez could move to, that is also provoking a lot of debate.

Recently, Newcastle fans and neutrals alike found it laughable when reports emerged claiming Celtic were a credible destination if Rafa doesn’t get any satisfaction from Ashley.

The idea of a manager of Rafa’s standing dropping down to Celtic in the uncompetitive Scottish League, not taken seriously, no matter how much Celtic fans tried to convince themselves it could happen.

Now a Celtic playing legend has joined the debate and agrees with Newcastle supporters and neutrals, rather than hopeful Celtic fans.

Davie Provan declaring that you ‘would need chloroform to get Rafa to Glasgow’ if he left Newcastle United.

Having played nine years for Celtic, Provan says ‘I’d give my right arm’ for his old club to land Rafa Benitez.

However, he accepts there is zero chance of that happening, with Celtic fans having to accept that the most likely outcome will be Neil Lennon getting the job permanently.

As for Newcastle fans, now that Premier League safety is realistically here now, they will expect a quick resolution to Rafa’s contract extension, or fear the worst.

Davie Provan speaking to The Scottish Sun:

‘Peter Lawwel must have chuckled at the names being linked to the Celtic job.

Bookies have taken money for Rafa Benitez, Roberto Martinez and Andre Villas-Boas.

Martinez and Villas-Boas quickly ruled themselves out, leaving Benitez as the last man standing.

Frankly, Lawwell would need chloroform to get Rafa to Glasgow.

I’d give my right arm to see the Spaniard succeed Brendan Rodgers.

No disrespect to Neil Lennon, but Benitez is in a different bracket.

A Rafa appointment would be like throwing a fox into a hen hut.

Benitez doesn’t defer to directors, he makes his demands and expects them to be met.

For the last three years, he’s had Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley up against the wall demanding better players.

During that time he’s played the Geordie faithful like a fiddle. Benitez could torch the local hospital and still have Magpie punters eating out of his hand.

In contrast, on the rare occasion Ashley attends St James’ Park, the Sports Direct tycoon needs his own security team. In the battle for the hearts and minds of supporters, Rafa has outfoxed Ashley.

…the Celtic job has lost it’s glamour.

When Celtic fan Owen Coyle knocked it back to stay with Burnley, alarm bells should have sounded.’

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