Newcastle United are back where they belong. The Magpies have qualified for the Premier League next season at the first time of asking after being relegated last season and could also win the Championship on the last day of the campaign should results go their way.
Manager Rafa Benitez has already gained cult status at the Sports Direct Arena, however, there are tensions in Tyneside that the Spaniard might leave the club if things don’t go his way in the coming days. When asked whether he would lead the Toons in the Premier league next season, the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager claimed: “You never know, this is football.”
The 57-year-old is set to hold talks with owner Mike Ashley on what would be the plan of action in the upcoming summer transfer window. Benitez needs reassurance that he would have the necessary funds to spend and that he would have the last words on player recruitment.
The Geordies would love to see Benitez stay, and should it happen, here are three players whom the Spaniard could sign:
Pepe Reina: Reports from the reliable Italian outlet TMW claim that goalkeeper Pepe Reina could leave Naples, should the Serie A side move for Wojciech Szczesny at the end of the season.
Reina has been a long-term admirer of Benitez and had earlier claimed that the latter has been the best manager he has ever worked with. Newcastle would love to have the services of the Spanish shot-stopper given his extensive experience in the Premier League. The former Liverpool goalkeeper would be a definite upgrade over the likes of Kyle Darlow and Matz Sels under the sticks and given that his present contract with Napoli expires in 2018, a move to Tyneside could be on the cards.
Fabain Delph: Making a move for Manchester City’s Fabian Delph would signal Newcastle’s intentions in the summer transfer window. The Guardian claims that Benitez could make a move the English midfielder who has had very little game time under Pep Guardiola this campaign. Given that Manchester City could undergo a major upheaval of the squad, Delph could leave the Etihad in the summer.
Delph would be a great addition for the Magpies and his presence beside Jonjo Shelvey in midfield would strengthen the side. A combative midfielder with a wide range of passing skills, Delph could drive the Magpies with his ability on the ball, something which Newcastle would love to have on their return to the top flight.
Davide Santon: The former Newcastle United left-back could well return to Tyneside in the summer. Reports from TMW claim that the 26-year-old’s agent has been in contact with Benitez and a possible return could be on the cards.
Santon had left Newcastle in January 215 when the then manager Alan Pardew swapped loyalties for Crystal Palace. The report from TMW claims that Santon’s entourage are keen to see the player return to English football. Whether Santon would be a definite upgrade over left-back Paul Dummet remains to be seen, but Benitez’s earlier experience of working with Santon at Inter Milan in 2010-11 could seal the deal.