Bengaluru, June 28: Newcastle United have drawn up a managerial shortlist to replace Rafael Benitez and it reportedly includes three Premier League legends, Mikel Arteta, Steven Gerrard and Patrick Vieira.
Earlier this week, the Toon confirmed that Benitez would leave the club when his contract expires on July 1 and that has left them looking for a new face.
They are yet to contact any prospective new managers for the vacant position but have reportedly drawn up a shortlist of possible candidates headed by Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard and Mikel Arteta while they are also said to be keen on Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as well.
It is understood that the club would like a younger manager to succeed 59-year-old Benitez, but all four targets are thought to be happy in their job away so may require persuading to relocate to north-east.
Newcastle previously interviewed Vieira, 43, for the vacant role in 2015 before the appointment of Steve McClaren. The Arsenal legend has remained on the club's radar and recently guided Nice to seventh in Ligue 1 in his first year in the south of France.
Gerrard, on the other hand, moved to senior management only this year but has had a very successful time in Rangers, finishing second in the league also leading Gers into Europe. He is unlikely to move rght now and a move to St. James’ Park could come as a big step up for the former midfielder.
Newcastle United candidates 🤔— Eren Sarigul (@_ErenSarigul) June 27, 2019
🏴 Steven Gerrard
🇫🇷 Patrick Vieira
🇪🇸 Mikel Arteta
(The Telegraph) pic.twitter.com/NjdF7RxJo3
Bournemouth boss Howe has also been impressive since their promotion in 2014-15. Despite a limited budget, the English coach has constantly kept the Cherries in the midtable. However, the Magpies management reportedly are not confident if they will be able to persuade him to move to the North East.
At this stage, the most viable option among them seems to be Arteta who does not have any managerial experience in top flight football yet. Pep Guardiola's right-hand man came close to the Arsenal job last summer and has earned lot of praise for his work.
The Spaniard reportedly wants to enter management with an emerging project and he could be a popular option among Newcastle's Spanish-speaking contingent as well.
Apart from these four, there are other two names in the list as well, with Sean Dyche and Steve Bruce however they are seen as fallback options at this stage.
Newcastle are currently up for sale and owner Mike Ashley continues to talk to interested bidders. They have reportedly been approached by Multi-billionaire Sheikh Bin Zayed with a £350m offer but the English owner is still seeking clarity over the takeover process.