Report explains why Benitez isn't yet convinced about replacing McClaren at Newcastle

Rafael Benitez is reportedly unconvinced by the level of control he would have at Newcastle.

According to the Daily Mirror, Rafael Benitez has yet to be convinced about taking over at Newcastle United, as he wants major reassurances that he will have full control at St. James' Park.

The Magpies are still in the process of resolving manager Steve McClaren's future with the club, after Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth left them moving ever closer to relegation to the Championship.

Newcastle may only be one point adrift of safety right now, but there is major concern on Tyneside that the Magpies will drop to the second tier for the second time in seven years.

The Mirror report that McClaren could be on his way out this week, and Newcastle have been sounding out possible replacements ahead of Monday's trip to face Leicester City - and Rafael Benitez is so far their top target.

Spaniard Benitez, enjoyed a superb stint with Liverpool, winning the Champions League in 2005, but spells with Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid have failed to reap the same success for the former Valencia manager.

Now a free agent having been sacked by Real Madrid in January, Benitez is allegedly keen on a return to the Premier League - but he is so far unconvinced about a move to St. James' Park.

The Mirror claim that Benitez wants guarantees over his influence in the transfer market and on training sessions, with the Magpies operating something of a transfer committee led by Lee Charnley and head scout Graham Carr. So far, Benitez has reportedly been left unconvinced that he will receive the long-term control he wants on Tyneside, meaning no deal between the two parties is close right now.

Of course, Newcastle would have to sack McClaren before any deal with Benitez can truly be completed, but they would surely want a verbal commitment from a manager before removing McClaren from his role. With work to be done on a move for Benitez, it promises to be a fascinating week for Newcastle and their ever-changing managerial situation.

Would you want to see Benitez as Newcastle's new manager?

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