Odds slashed: Rafa Benitez down to 6/1 for Newcastle job next summer

Could the former Liverpool boss be a realistic prospect for Newcastle United fans?

Rafael Benitez's odds of becoming Newcastle boss next summer have been slashed from 33/1 to 6/1, according to a Ladbrokes press release.

The Napoli boss's future in Italy appears to be uncertain, while current Newcastle coach John Carver is only contracted until the end of the season - while he has far from impressed in the St James' Park hot seat so far.

As such, bookmakers see former Liverpool boss Benitez as a perfect fit on Tyneside come next season.

The Spaniard spent several years at Liverpool, winning the Champions League and FA Cup, while coming second in the Premier League. And Benitez could be set for his second return to England, having already revisited these shores to take interim charge of Chelsea, with whom he won the Europa League.

Ladbrokes' press release read: "Rafa Benitez could be set for a summer move to St James’ Park. The ex-Liverpool gaffer's odds have been slashed from 33/1 to 6/1 to be named manager of Newcastle United this summer.

"It comes as the Napoli boss looks set to leave Italy while John Carver, who is in charge of the Toon until the end of the season, has so far managed just one Premier League win."

The former Liverpool man would no doubt be an intriguing choice for Newcastle. His European experience would add reputation and glamour to the Magpies' current set-up, while he has - in the past - proven to be a winner.

Whether the Newcastle board would really hire Benitez remains to be seen, however, as the 54-year-old is a manager who traditionally requires heavy spending for his sides to function.

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