By Wayne Veysey

7th Oct, 2021 | 1:27pm

Sources: Benitez lined up for stunning Newcastle United return amid takeover update this afternoon

The soon-to-be Newcastle United owners are plotting a sensational move for Everton manager Rafael Benitez, Football Insider understands.

The former boss of the north-east giants was the top managerial target of the Saudi-backed public investment fund (PiF) last year.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that one of the first moves after the Saudi takeover goes through is to ascertain Benitez’s interest in what would be a stunning return.

The 61-year-old is idolised by Newcastle fans and has further enhanced his reputation during his spell in charge of Everton.

He was appointed on a three-year contract earlier in the summer and it remains to be seen if he could be lured out of Goodison Park so quickly.

But the new owners will launch a huge spending spree after a takeover that will make Newcastle one of the world’s richest clubs.

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The controversial deal is expected to be officially announced today after the Gulf state settled its piracy dispute with Premier League broadcast partner beIN Sports and gave assurances over who will control the club.

It has paved the way for the £300million deal to be signed off, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership.

The consortium is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, the billionaire UK-based Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley.

It would certainly rank as an immensely popular move on Tyneside where they to lure back Benitez.

The Champions League winner was appointed Everton manager in early July to a chorus of fury from a significant section of the club’s fanbase unhappy with his Liverpool connections.

But the Spaniard has won over many sceptics by overseeing a strong start to the season despite operating on a shoestring summer transfer budget.

In other news, Newcastle United manager shortlist compiled as Bruce sack plan revealed.