By Russell Edge

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that supporting Rafael Benitez with financial backing is the only way Newcastle United are going to keep a hold of their manager.

The Spanish boss joined the Magpies in 2016 as they looked to stave off the threat of relegation, with Benitez unemployed after being sacked by Real Madrid earlier that season.

While the north east side did find themselves slipping into England’s second tier, Benitez, who won the Champions League with Liverpool and has managed at several European giants, stayed with the club, guiding them to the Championship title and as a result a return to the top flight.

However, he has been vocal in his frustration over the club’s transfer dealings, and Carragher says that if they do not provide the funds necessary for him to achieve what he wants on Tyneside, then he will ultimately leave, and he questions if they will ever be able to secure a manager of his calibre again.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme (20/11, 19:00), he said: “When Rafa Benitez eventually leaves Newcastle it could be a long time before they get a manager or if they ever get a manager with that sort of CV.

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“You think if you want investment and you want to push on, now is the time.

“He probably doesn’t have the players to compete at that level or even top six. Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-1. Losing 4-1 to Mourinho: he won’t be happy with that.

“If Rafa Benitez got an offer from a team at that level or chasing the Champions League, is he going to stay at Newcastle in that situation?

“He’s not going to want to go into games against some of these managerial rivals with one hand tied behind his back trying to win.”

Benitez may well be hoping that a takeover is agreed upon prior to the upcoming transfer window in January, although a report has said that appears to be unlikely with Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners in negotiations with current owner Mike Ashley.

In other Newcastle United news, a report states that the takeover talks are on the brink of collapsing.

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