A new report claims that Rafa Benitez wants to return to Newcastle United and he wants to sign two England internationals.
Newcastle United have returned to training as part of phase one of Project Restart. Steve Bruce and most of the players are ready to conclude the delayed season.
Bruce should do his best to enjoy every moment as the Magpies’ head coach as it looks like his odds of staying in that position next season are slim to none. According to several reports over the last month-and-a-half, the incoming owners are keen on securing the managerial services of Mauricio Pochettino.
Over the last two days, however, an exclusive report from the Telegraph claimed that former Toon boss Rafa Benitez wants to return to Newcastle United once the takeover is complete. Following up on that, more information was provided as the Mirror claimed that Benitez already has his first two signings in mind.
It remains to be seen if Benitez is in fact on the radar of the incoming owners, but we do know that Amanda Staveley wanted the Spaniard to stay on Tyneside the first time she entered takeover negotiations.
According to the aforementioned reports, if Benitez does return, he would like to see England internationals Ross Barkley and John Stones in the black and white stripes of Newcastle United.
When combining their statistics, the Chelsea and Manchester City stars have 350 Premier League appearances and 72 international caps under their belts. They have sufficient experience to be labeled Premier League veterans despite only being 25 and 26, but would they be good additions to Newcastle United?
In short, yes and no. Newcastle United are stacked in defense and the club enjoys quality depth and internal competition that sees the lineup change every few weeks. To be quite honest, it would not be a stretch to make the argument that Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez are more talented than John Stones.
Ross Barkley, on the other hand, would be a solid addition for the Magpies. The 26-year-old has blistering pace, good technical skills with the ball at his feet and he is capable of scoring in double figures if he is given the chance to serve as the primary attacking midfielder.
With a strong supporting cast around him, and tactics that promote attacking football, the 2015-16 version of Barkley that scored eight goals and bagged eight assists could come back to life at St. James’ Park. For now, though, these are just rumors, but it would not be a bad idea for the Toon to pursue Barkley with or without Benitez in charge.