By Alex Taylor

Former Newcastle midfielder Didier Hamann has rejected an offer from Rafael Benitez to be his assistant at St James’ Park.

The Chronicle, quoting the Times, report that the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder has decided not to return to coaching with the Magpies this summer.

The 42-year-old has not taken on a coaching role since leaving his management position at Stockport County in 2011 and is believed to be keen to return to a high-profile coaching role.

Speaking to the Times, Hamann said: “Rafa Benitez asked me to be his assistant at Newcastle which I turned down with a heavy heart.”

Benitez appointed Mikel Antia to replace Fabio Pecchia as assistant manager, who took over as Hellas Verona maanger.

After an illustrious playing career, former Germany international Hamann has been part of the management team at MK Dons and Leicester before he joined Stockport five years ago.

Benitez will now face the the challenge of taking Newcastle back to the Premier League without the expertise of the former Toon star.

In other Newcastle news, the St James’ Park faithful on Twitter were not too pleased with Andros Townsend’s decision to link up with former Tyneside boss Alan Pardew.