Newcastle United legend Chris Waddle has told BBC Radio 5 Live that he cannot understand why Rafa Benitez would want to leave St. James' Park to move to West Ham United.
The Evening Standard claim that Benitez could be willing to move down south to the London Stadium, if indeed an offer from the West Ham board is agreeable ahead of the summer transfer window.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss remains in talks with the Toon over extending his current deal, which expires at the end of 2019. However, a decision is yet to be made on his future with Benitez looking for investment from Mike Ashley.
Waddle, who boasts iconic status on Tyneside after playing for Newcastle for five years between 1980 and 1985, does not understand why Benitez would leave for West Ham - but reckons the Hammers must be giving him a much better deal.
"Newcastle have got a budget which obviously isn't great," Waddle said. "He [Benitez] wants more, and rightly so. But going to West Ham, it might be a very similar budget.
"At Newcastle he is absolutely loved. The fans love him and rightly so, he's done a great job. He could go to West Ham, lose the first five games and it's like 'what are you doing here?'
"For him to move, it would have to be an unbelievable sort of deal."
Benitez has been frustrated by owner Ashley in recent transfer windows, with the Toon supremo unwilling to inject any cash of his own for transfers. Instead, Benitez has been promised every penny of which the club generates.
But that has seen him miss out on numerous targets, such as Andros Townsend, Daniel Sturridge and Nicolai Jorgensen and if the Spanish boss is to remain in the dugout at Newcastle, he will require more freedom in the market.
West Ham are said to be targeting Benitez along with a number of other managers, including former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery, Shakhtar Donestk gaffer Paulo Fonseca and ex-Man City guru Manuel Pellegrini.