By Will Butcher
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has laughed off rumours that he could be the man to replace Sam Allardyce as England manager.
The Spaniard has been on a list of contenders to take the vacant job in the past, and his name has been mentioned once again following the departure of Allardyce on Tuesday evening.
Speaking in Tuesday’s press conference ahead of the Toon’s top-of-the-table Championship clash against Norwich, Benitez told the Evening Chronicle that there was “no chance” of him taking the job.
“I just came here. No chance,” Benitez told the Evening Chronicle. “I am really focused on Newcastle.”
The England job has become vacant just 67 days after Allardyce was first appointed to succeed Roy Hodgson, after an investigation was launched into Allardyce’s conduct.
Allardyce, who was in charge at St. James’ Park for just 24 games between 2007 and 2008, is being accused of using his powerful position to negotiate a deal to earn £400,000 on top of his £3million-a-year contract.
The former West Ham and Sunderland boss also appeared to offer advice on how to circumvent rules on player transfers.
Champions League winning manager Benitez has been in charge at Newcastle for just over six months, after taking over in March from Steve McClaren. He has won 10 out of 21 league and cup encounters as boss, while losing six.
A win for the Magpies against Norwich on Wednesday night could see Benitez’s side move up to third in the table, overtaking the Canaries in the process.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has predicted a bright future for this under-fire star.