Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is a surprise target for Scottish giants Celtic. The Hoops parted ways with manager Brendan Rodgers in midseason and appointed former boss Neil Lennon as caretaker.
Now, with Celtic gearing up for the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday against Hearts, the hoops have set their sights on Benitez to take over at Celtic Park.
Rafael Benitez on Celtic radar
Despite reports of Benitez being high on Celtic’s list of managerial candidates, it is believed the Spaniard has agreed to stay on at Newcastle.
Benitez steered the Magpies away from relegation danger late in the season. Newcastle ultimately finished 14th in the Premier League and 11 points above the bottom three.
While Benitez’s Newcastle struggled for much of the season, Celtic have won both the Scottish Premiership and the League Cup. The Hoops can accomplish a domestic treble at the weekend against Hearts.
Celtic have also been linked with former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Rafael Benitez staying at Newcastle
Although official word of Benitez staying at Newcastle hasn’t been announced, The Scottish Sun states the manager will remain at St. James Park due to assurances over transfer funds becoming available.
Benitez is also on the radar of Roma, AC Milan, and Juventus as all three are looking to make managerial changes. Juventus have already sacked five-time Scudetti winner Massimiliano Allegri.
The Italian could end up in the Premier League with Manchester United or Tottenham depending on their managerial situations.
According to Calcio Mercato, Benitez will finally get the transfer budget he has sought since taking over the Magpies.
Owner Mike Ashley has kept the purse strings tight since the former Liverpool manager took charge. However, Ashley may present Benitez a transfer kitty to give the club the chance to fight for a place in Europe.
According to Planet Football, Newcastle should receive around £116.9 million in combined prize money, television money, and equal share allowance.
Benitez could be allowed to spend some of the funds the club receives on new talent.