John Carver suggests radical measure Newcastle should take to keep Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez 3

The former Magpies coach believes the club should allow Benitez to take up duties as Spain boss as well as staying at St. James' Park.

Much has been made of where Rafael Benitez's future lies in recent weeks as Newcastle United's Premier League status remains on a knife edge, but former Magpies coach John Carver has suggested to talkSPORT a radical step which could enable the club to keep the manager.

Benitez is widely tipped to leave St. James' Park if he fails secure survival, and former Tyneside hero Rob Lee insisted earlier this week that that would be the right decision for both club and manager due to the Spaniard's lack of second-tier experience.

One rumours which has circulated in recent times is that the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss is one of the frontrunners to take over as Spain head coach when Vicente del Bosque steps down after this summer's Euro 2016.

That would seem to suggest that the 55-year-old is unlikely to remain at the North East club, but Carver, who guided the club to safety in the second half of last season as interim boss, believes Newcastle should offer him the chance to take the national team job whilst remaining at the club.

Carver told talkSPORT: "I can’t think of a better place to be than Newcastle United. Rafa has been at Liverpool, he understands what passionate football is all about, and it would be a great opportunity for him [to stay on].

"They might even say to him: ‘if you stay, you can still do the national team part-time’. That might be something they put into their heads. If I was the football club I would do everything to keep him here and get him to build something. We are crying out for structure right throughout, from the bottom all the way to the top.

"You can do it [manage Newcastle and Spain] if you have got a good staff around you. Usually when you do go away on international duty you have hardly got any players left at the training ground anyway. It might be the best option for Newcastle [allowing Benitez to manage Spain] because what they can’t afford to do is lose him – he is the ideal appointment."

Benitez has led Newcastle to four points from their last two matches to close the gap between themselves and safety to two points, and club legend Alan Shearer declared this week that they would not be in this precarious position had they appointed the Spaniard sooner.

It is understandable why Newcastle would be desperate to keep the 55-year-old, and if Carver's suggested solution was settled upon, he would not be the first manager to combine club and national team duties, although it is a rare occurrence.

Former Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat spent four months in charge of both Belgium and Dutch side AZ Alkmaar; whilst Guus Hiddink led Chelsea to FA Cup glory and the Champions League semi-finals in 2009 at the same time as coaching Russia.

Sir Alex Ferguson also led Scotland at the 1986 World Cup after Jock Stein's death whilst still officially in charge of Aberdeen before his move to Manchester United.

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