By Noel Whelan

9th Oct, 2021 | 8:30am

Pundit can't believe Benitez could quit Everton for stunning Newcastle return after source reveal

Noel Whelan has suggested Rafael Benitez would snub a potential return to Newcastle United to remain at Everton despite the successful takeover.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker claimed the Spaniard would remain loyal to the Toffees after joining this summer.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider (7th October) the consortium are set to make a move to ascertain Benitez’s interest over what would be a stunning return to St James’ Park.

The Spanish boss is idolised on Tyneside after his three-year spell at the club under Mike Ashley.

He was the Saudi-backed consortium’s top managerial target last year as they pushed for a takeover.

However, Benitez replaced Carlo Ancelotti at Everton this summer, signing a three-year deal on Merseyside.

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Whelan suggested the manager would want to remain loyal to his new club, despite the lure of Newcastle’s wealthy new owners.

Discussing a potential return for Benitez, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I very much doubt it.

“I think he’s a loyal person, he’s a loyal man who signed a contract. He’s got a job to do at Everton and he’s doing a good job. I don’t think he’s that kind of man to walk away from a club.

“I find it very, very difficult (to believe) he would not honour his contract and honour the badge of Everton. He’s not that kind of human being.

“He has got a job there and he will stick to his job. He will try and build Everton up and I think that one’s sailed now. That one’s something that you look to the past.

“You look at managers out of work, a good manager at other European clubs that you could prise away. They could do that job for Newcastle United.

“But when you’re looking at honouring and people’s characters, I don’t think Rafa Benitez is one of those.”

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