Newcastle United Mike Ashley will prioritise Premier League survival over all else when appointing a manager to replace Rafael Benitez, according to Danny Mills.
The former England star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Sports Direct businessman cares about nothing more than ensuring the Magpies remain in the top flight of England and that the club’s next manager will reflect that.
Newcastle have confirmed that Benitez will be leaving St James’ Park at the end of his contract on Sunday after three years in charge, which included securing the Championship title following relegation.
With Newcastle having finished the last two seasons as one of the mid-table sides in the Premier League, Mills says that Ashley’s one and only priority will be finding a manager he believes can continue that record.
“As we’ve seen from the past, sometimes Mike Ashley just makes the decision and that’s it, done and dusted,” Mills told Football Insider.
“Mike Ashley will appoint the manager that he thinks is right to keep them in the Premier League next season. That’s all he looks at, surviving in the Premier League. That makes it attractive if it’s going to be sold and at the right price.
“That will be his only concern.”
During Ashley’s 12-year reign on Tyneside, Newcastle have seen 12 different managers take charge, the first being Kevin Keegan in a second spell.
The likes of Alan Shearer, Joe Kinnear and John Carver have all been short term appointments, while Alan Pardew was the longest serving man in the dugout.
In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED the club are eyeing up nearly £35million worth of profit for one of their senior stars looking to leave.