Report: Arab state’s Public Investment Fund planning to bring Rafa Benitez back to Newcastle United if takeover goes through


According to The Sun, the chairman of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is working on bringing Rafa Benitez back to Saint James’ Park if his £340 million takeover of Newcastle United becomes a success.

The Spaniard left Europe for Chinese Super League giants Dalian Yifang last summer after him and Magpies owner Mike Ashley could not agree to terms of a contract extension, and he has was replaced with Steve Bruce.

Benitez established himself as a huge fans’ favourite during his three-season stay on Tyneside, and the potential new owners are looking to kick start their reign with him in the dugout.

While Bruce has managed to lead Newcastle to 14th in the Premier League table after eight wins and six draws in 24 games, not all the fans are on his side, but a move for Benitez will endear them to the potential new owners.

PIF would have to wait till the summer to have any chance of luring the Champions League-winning manager back to SJP, though, but getting Ashley to sell is the first hurdle.

The businessman has owned Newcastle since July 2007, but remains hugely unpopular with the fans, and has made no secret of his desire to sell the club for the right place.

Several takeover bids have fallen through over the years, and it will be interesting to see if the PIF will get the job done this time.

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