'Will be lucrative' - Exclusive: Pundit predicts worldwide hunt for 'fantastic' Newcastle man
Noel Whelan is predicting a worldwide hunt for the services of Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez as his contract comes to an end at St James’ Park.
The Spaniard is yet to pen new terms with the Magpies with his current deal set to expire at the end of June and speaking exclusively to Football Insider Whelan was left raving over the job he has done so far on Tyneside.
However, his contract situation means that there is still plenty of uncertainty after his three years at Newcastle, with owner Mike Ashley seemingly unwilling to meet his demands to get him to commit his long term future to the club.
Whelan insists that building Newcastle around the manager is an absolute must in order to secure another “lucrative” season of Premier League football and a failure to tie him down will see clubs from across the globe chase his signature instead.
“I mean obviously he must be looked at by a lot of teams, not just in England but abroad as well,” Whelan told Football Insider in an exclusive interview.
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“Fantastic manager, great man manager, great organiser, attention to detail. Done a great job in Newcastle under really difficult circumstances, you’ve got to say that. Very little to spend and to match the Premier League teams when they’ve gone out and spent millions and millions.
“You’ve got to admire the way he’s gone about his job and how he’s got the players organised and up for the fight.
“Another season in the Premier League, that will be lucrative to Newcastle. Hopefully they can sort out his deal first because I think that’s the main thing, keeping the manager and then building the team around him which is what you need to do, which is all he’s ever wanted really at Newcastle but he’s never had that backing.
“It’s whether he still trusts Newcastle and the owners and who is going to be the owner if they do sell the club.”
Benitez arrived at Newcastle to replace Steve McLaren back in 2016 and helped the Magpies finish 10th in the Premier League last season after securing the Championship title following relegation.
In other Newcastle United news, Football Insider has learned that the Magpies are trying to ship off a big name talent this summer.