Guillem Balague has claimed that Rafa Benitez will not be the next Newcastle United manager.

“Newcastle is not an option for Rafa Benitez under this owner,” said Balague as reported by BBC. “Change the owner and then, maybe.

“Rafa has a huge respect for the fans, the club, the town. And I feel there is a bit of an unfinished business there.”

The 60-year-old parted ways with Chinese club Dalian Professional last week. Both Celtic and Newcastle have been linked with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss.

Magpies boss Steve Bruce is under pressure after the club have lost four out of their last five Premier League games and are only two points above the relegation zone.

Benitez is highly respected by Newcastle fans after leading the club impressively between 2016-2019. After the club was relegated from the Premier League in the 2015/16 season, he brought them back to the top-flight just one season later.

Benitez opted to leave St James’ Park at the end of the 2018/19 season. It is widely believed that the reason for this was because he was unhappy with the transfer budget being offered to him by Mike Ashley.

Due to his reputation and experience, the Spaniard is unlikely to be short of offers. However, he is now at a stage of his career where he will not rush for the first job available and will wait for the right opportunity to present itself.

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