French newspaper L’Equipe have claimed that Newcastle United are interested in luring Lyon manager Bruno Genesio to St. James’ Park if Rafa Benitez leaves – and that will be seriously concerning to Toon fans.
Benitez’s future at Newcastle remains an enormous doubt. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss is in the final few months of his contract, with the Spaniard yet to agree anything with owner Mike Ashley.
Ashley has continually frustrated Benitez in the transfer market. However, Ashley did redeem himself somewhat by giving Newcastle the funds to finally break their transfer record on Miguel Almiron – which had stood for 14 years.
But Benitez has still not signed a new contract. It is believed that he wants assurances from Ashley that he can spend money in the summer, taking Newcastle from a bottom-half team into one that challenges for Europe.
The latest reports, though, will be hugely worrying to Newcastle supporters. That is because it appears that Ashley has already picked Benitez’s successor, if indeed the Toon icon does not sign a new deal as manager.
L’Equipe claim that is Lyon gaffer Genesio. The 52-year-old is in a similar predicament to Benitez, with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign. The Frenchman is Lyon through and through.
He began work at the club as a scout before ending up as manager since December 2015. He is loved by fans, especially after taking Lyon into the last 16 of the Champions League before losing to a Lionel Messi masterclass.
Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance has prevented Genesio from winning anything in France. Now, he is expected to leave and Newcastle have picked him as Benitez’s successor.
But for Benitez to already have a chosen successor shows the lack of confidence Ashley has in the Toon boss signing a new deal. This is a deeply worrying update for Toon fans.