By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Rafael Benitez would be the perfect manager for Everton next season, according to Robbie Savage.
The Spaniard signed a three-year contract with Newcastle in March but he has a break clause in his deal if the club are not in the Premier League.
The Magpies will drop down to the Championship next season if relegation rivals Sunderland beat Everton on Wednesday night, which would throw Benitez’s future at the club in doubt.
It has been widely speculated that Roberto Martinez will be fired by Everton this summer on the back of a campaign which has failed to live up to expectations.
Everton are 12th in the Premier League and were eliminated from the FA Cup at the semi-final stage, prompting reports that Martinez will be sacked by new billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri.
Pundit Savage has suggested that Benitez would be the ideal man to replace Martinez although he accepts the 56-year-old Spaniard’s association with Liverpool makes it unlikely.
“The perfect manager for Everton if Martinez does go, and it probably won’t happen, would be Rafa Benitez,” Savage told Radio Five Live, as quoted by the Daily Post.
“Yes he’s a legend at Liverpool but if you look at it in the Premier League the top six clubs are taken. The next biggest club is probably Everton with new owners, an influx of money and Benitez still with a house in the area.”
In other Everton news, it has been reported that there are five main contenders to replace Martinez in the summer.