By Wayne Veysey

29th Jun, 2021 | 7:26am

Sources: Newcastle United consortium 'devastated' by Everton news

The Newcastle United consortium are “devastated” that Rafael Benitez is set to be appointed the new Everton manager, Football Insider has learned.

The Spaniard, 61, could be named the Merseysiders’ new boss as early as today despite strong opposition to him among some of the club’s fans.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Benitez’s imminent appointment is “devastating for the consortium” as they try to complete their long-awaited takeover.

It was relayed to them over the weekend by Benitez’s camp that he would return to management on Merseyside rather than the north-east.

This site revealed on 8th June that the Saudi-backed public investment fund (PiF) had lined up their former manager for a sensational return once the takeover is complete.

Financier Amanda Staveley and her allies had been told Benitez was very keen to return to Newcastle.

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Missing out on him is seen as “devastating” blow but certainly a recoverable one.

The Newcastle job is set to be a plum one if and when the takeover is finalised following a series of blows over the last year.

There will be a huge transfer kitty for the manager to spend and none of the financial fair play rules that Everton will have to circumnavigate this summer as a result of their previous vast spending.

The latest situation is all parties are confident the Premier League will sanction the £300million PiF takeover after arbitration proceedings in July.

Steve Bruce will remain as manager while Mike Ashley is the owner and is operating with a restricted kitty this summer.

But the experienced manager is expected to be dismissed shortly after any takeover is finalised.

In other news, Kieran Maguire predicts mega Newcastle United spending as “foot on the gas” over takeover.