After Newcastle United secured an impressive top 10 finish on their return to the Premier League, the attentions on Tyneside will have turned to the summer – where there could well be much change ahead.
Manager Rafael Benitez has been heralded as the mastermind behind the Magpies’ success and rightly so, for the Spaniard turned a squad made up of Championship winners – scraping the second tier title last season – into a formidable side to take on the top flight.
However, while the transfer window might just be days from opening, the Toon Army’s priority lies firmly at their boss’ door.
Benitez heads into the summer entering the final year of his contract at St James’ Park and although there have been confirmed behind-the-scenes discussions over extending his stay, there are still doubts over whether he will remain in charge – especially if he does not get the backing he desires from owner Mike Ashley.
With managerial changes expected all across the Premier League this summer, Benitez would likely be a top candidate for many of the Magpies’ rivals – but it looks as though the club are one step closer to securing a perfect start to the summer break.
West Ham were said to have named the former Liverpool boss as their top target were David Moyes to see his short-term tenure come to a close, and while the Daily Mail do claim the Scottish manager looks set to be on his way out, it is Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Foncesca they have flown in for negotiations.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 14, 2018
Meanwhile Everton are another club who seem set for a change in the dugout, with Sky Sports claiming on their Twitter account that Sam Allardyce is set to depart, former Watford boss Marco Silva the favourite to take over.
Sky sources: Sam Allardyce is set to leave Everton in the next 24 hours, with Marco Silva the favourite to replace him. pic.twitter.com/xbaphgkJiD
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 15, 2018
Moving to Liverpool’s rivals would have been a shock move for Benitez but not out of the realms of reality – although it seems that is two Premier League sides out of the running for his capture.
Arsenal are definitely seeking a new manager, with Chelsea likely to join the hunt too, but West Ham and Everton’s exit means Benitez’s options are limited were he to leave, meaning the Magpies could well be getting closer to handing the fans a dream beginning to the summer.
In other Newcastle United news, fans have been left fuming over the official statement issued at the end of the season.