Richard Keys makes a cynical prediction about Rafa Benitez's Newcastle future

St James Park Newcastle

The controversial television presenter has predicted where the Spaniard may end up if Newcastle go down.

Richard Keys believes Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United straight away if they get relegated, according to his personal blog.

And he has tipped the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss to replace Gary Neville at Valencia if he does depart St James' Park.

Benitez was hired to replace Steve McClaren last week but has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if he cannot keep Newcastle up.

Keys wrote: "Take Rafa. Yes, I did say recently that he would go back to Valencia. That was before the Newcastle job came up. But he still might. If the Toon go down he'll be off - probably to Valencia!"

The Magpies may risk losing the Spaniard if they get relegated, of course, and, looking at the situation strategically, there is no shame in Rafa potentially using the Newcastle job as an audition for a top-flight club next season.

If Benitez does keep Newcastle up, there is plenty of potential ahead of next campaign.

But, should they go down, there will be few better jobs for the Spaniard than Valencia, his former home - where he is already hugely loved by supporters.

Newcastle faced Leicester City tonight during Benitez's first game in charge.

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