Writing is on the wall as Rafa Benitez engages Score Agencies to find him new club this summer – L’Equipe
It is now only 38 days until Rafa Benitez will take charge of the final match of is current three year contract at Newcastle United.
Three weeks ago L’Equipe broke the story claiming Mike Ashley had engaged ‘super agent’ Pini Zahavi to line up a managerial replacement for Rafa Benitez.
Now it is the turn of Rafa Benitez for a L’Equipe exclusive.
On this occasion it is very detailed, leading to a sinking feeling that there is definitely real substance behind this one.
They report that after a meeting on 6 March in Manchester, Rafa Benitez has signed a contract with Score Agencies.
They are agents based in Lyon and the newspaper states that the contract lasts until 1 September 2019 and gives them the rights to manage his interests in France, the Newcastle manager tasking them with the job of finding out what interest there is from Ligue 1 clubs in employing him this summer.
L’Equipe say that Mike Ashley has offered the manager a two year contract but Rafa Benitez has not yet responded, instead keeping his options open and going to this meeting with Score Agencies last month accompanied by his lawyer/advisor Richard Green.
Marseille and Lyon are said to be the two clubs who would be most likely destinations for Benitez, with both set to change managers this summer.
The L’Equipe story three weeks ago said that Pini Zahavi had put forward current Lyon boss Bruno Genesio as a potential replacement for Rafa Benitez, with his contract set to end this summer as well.
After Lyon were knocked out of the French Cup by Hatem Ben Arfa and Rennes on Tuesday, the Lyon President indicated that Genesio would not be offered a new deal.
The fact that the multi-lingual Newcastle boss speaks French, is also seen as a big positive for the likes of Lyon or Marseille to employ him.
The L’Equipe report doesn’t say that all hope has gone of Rafa Benitez signing a Newcastle United extension.
However, that will need a significant shift first in how Mike Ashley runs the club.
Newcastle fans have been waiting 12 years for that to happen, so unless Ashley sells NUFC, you wouldn’t be betting on Rafa staying at St James Park.
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