Newcastle United are still looking for a new manager before the team heads to China, but they can officially scratch one name off their list.
Newcastle United are still searching for a new manager to replace Rafa Benitez after the Spaniard decided to leave the club. New reports claim that Benitez informed the club’s top officials that he would not return to Newcastle United after a meeting in mid-May, so the fact that a new manager has not been hired yet is raising several questions.
The Magpies have a shortlist of managers, but some names on that list have already said they are not interested in coming to St. James’ Park. Another name that can be added to the “no” category is Steven Gerrard. A new report claims that Mike Ashley has contacted Gerrard’s representatives, but the former England and Liverpool captain is focused on his job at Rangers.
Gerrard was hired as the manager of the Scottish giants last April and he has done extremely well for an inexperienced manager. The 39-year-old has been in charge of Rangers for 60 matches across all domestic and continental competitions and has maintained a winning percentage of 53%. Gerrard would have been an interesting hire for Newcastle United, but he has decided to stay at Rangers hoping to deliver the Scottish title to Ibrox for the first time since 2010.
As a result of this rejection, the Toon have turned their attention to former Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores. The Spaniard is now a free agent after leaving Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in the Chinese Super League and it is understood that Flores is interested in succeeding Benitez on Tyneside. The former Real Madrid and Zaragoza defender has managed ten teams over the course of his managerial career, most notably Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Benfica and Watford.
Of the teams mentioned above, his track record at Watford is what will be of interest to the Toon Army since it indicates whether or not Flores is meant to be in the Premier League. Flores was undeservedly sacked after one season at Vicarage Road after finishing the 2015-16 campaign in 13th place with 45 points. It is also worth mentioning that Flores led Watford to the semi-finals of the FA Cup that year. Flores would be a safe option for Newcastle United, but it remains to be seen if the club’s interest in the Spaniard will translate to a phone call and an interview over the next few days.