Newcastle United fans react to report that Rafael Benitez wants to return to SJP and is keen on signing John Stones and Ross Barkley

According to Telegraph, Dalian Professional manager Rafa Benitez wants to return to Newcastle United this summer after the completion of their £300 million takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

A huge obstacle to a potential return would be the combined costs of his Dalian pay-off and salary, but the new owners might be willing to bankroll it.


The Spaniard, 60, spent three seasons at St. James’ Park before leaving last summer upon the expiration of his contract.

Magpies chairman Mike Ashley and Benitez weren’t able to agree to terms of a new deal after falling out, but the former boss knows the would-be owners are more than ready to invest, and Manchester City centre-back John Stones and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley are two of the players high on his wishlist should he succeed Steve Bruce in the dugout.

The former Newcastle boss wanted the English midfielder while he was at Liverpool in 2008 and was also keen on a move during his time at SJP.

Stones was on Benitez’s radar during his time as Real Madrid manager and he is now hoping to finally get his hands on the English duo if he returns as Toons boss.

PCP Capital Partners owner Amanda Staveley has fronted the takeover bid thus far and is set to own 10% of the club afterwards.

She is a huge fan of Benitez and is open to him returning to Newcastle, and that could give the Spanish manager an advantage in the race.

He is also loved by the fans, and while many of them will love to have him back, they aren’t particularly excited with the claims that he wants Barkley and Stones.

Here is how some of them have reacted to the report on Twitter: