Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley will be searching long and hard for Rafa Benitez’s successor, with pre-season set to start on Thursday for the managerless club.

Newcastle United are in search of a new manager following the official departure of Rafa Benitez last Sunday, with numerous names being touted for the St James’ Park role.

In recent days, one name that has been gathering some pace has been that of current Belgium Head Coach Roberto Martinez.

The Sun have claimed that Newcastle have made contact with Martinez as they step up their pursuit of a new manager, with the Magpies keen to speak to the Spaniard.

In normal circumstances, most managers would jump at the chance of working for Newcastle, whether as the main man or part of a coaching staff.

But in recent seasons, the job at Newcastle has become more and more difficult, with Benitez’s departure a prime example of that.

Mike Ashley is still in charge of the club, and if that remains the case then a manager such as Martinez would be daft to accept the job and work under an owner who has shown a lack of ambition since the day he walked through Newcastle’s doors.

A prime example would be the imminent sale of Ayoze Perez to fellow Premier League side Leicester City, for a fee to be in the region of £30 million, as reported by the Guardian.

Perez has been Newcastle’s main attacking threat in recent seasons and he was their top score during the previous campaign. But selling him says all Martinez needs to know about Newcastle currently and those who are running it.

The Spaniard would be a great appointment for the club, no doubt. He has vasts amounts of experience in England’s top-flight having managed 265 matches for Wigan and Everton [transfermarkt]

But his career would go backwards if he opts to make the switch to Newcastle in their current state, which is unfortunate for the supporters.

In other news, Report: 25-year-old to leave Celtic on loan imminently