By Gabriel Agbonlahor

13th Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Newcastle 'looking at bigger manager' than Benitez as pundit reacts to source's manager chase update

Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted Rafa Benitez would not “do a Carlo Ancelotti” and quit Everton to take over at Newcastle United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England attacker claimed the new Newcastle owners will appoint a “bigger manager” than Benitez.

Football Insider revealed yesterday (October 12) Benitez is one of the new regime’s top targets to replace Steve Bruce along with Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard.

But a Newcastle source told this site today that Rodgers is emerging as the first choice as part of a “dream ticket” pairing with Brian Marwood.

Benitez remains extremely popular in the northeast after his first spell in the charge of Newcastle that ended in 2019.

He subsequently took over at Chinese Super League club x before becoming Everton boss this summer.

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Asked whether he could see Benitez quitting Goodison Park to return to the Magpies, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I can’t, to be honest.

“He’s part of a project at Everton. The team is doing well and he’ll be happy with how it’s going.

“He’ll leave that [the Newcastle job] to someone else. I don’t see him doing what Carlo Ancelotti did and jumping ship halfway through a project.

“I can’t see that happening and I think they’ll be looking at a bigger manager than that, to be honest.”

Benitez has guided Everton to fifth in the Premier League after the opening seven games but they have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup.

They have lost just once in the league this season and host West Ham at Goodison Park on Sunday.

In other news, Newcastle United could “definitely” re-sign a Champions League winner after a major reveal.