Football

Rafa Benitez has lost faith in Mike Ashley's project.

Rafa Benitez is already considering taking another job

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Rafa Benitez's tenure at Newcastle has become increasingly unhappy over the last few months.

Few fans ever expected the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss to take the job in the first place, let alone persevere with it when the Magpies dropped down to the Championship.

To his credit, he helped them to promotion and will have no doubt been expecting a war chest to spend on his squad to get them ready for the Premier League.

It goes without saying that Mike Ashley hasn't delivered.

Benitez always knew he needed to sell to buy this summer, but after getting rid of the likes of Manu Riviere, Grant Hanley and Siem de Jong, the funds he's been given to reinvest have been minimal.

Tensions have been mounting between manager and chairman for some time, with the Spaniard recently warning his project would not be a long-term one.

And if the Guardian's latest information is correct, he could be on his way out of St James' Park very soon indeed.

While he's reluctant to leave the club right at the start of the new season, it's claimed he is open to taking the West Ham job should it become vacant.

Ironically, Newcastle heaped pressure on Slaven Bilic with a 3-0 win last weekend, a result which has left the east Londoners bottom of the table.

Is Bilic a dead man walking? 

Bilic's first campaign in charge was a success, but after last season's disappointments, that downwards trajectory seems to be continuing.

According to a clause in Benitez's contract, the Hammers would have to pay between £5-6million to install him as manager.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League

It wouldn't be the first time they've shown an interest, however, as they considered appointing him before he took the Real Madrid job in 2015.

This may all be speculation at this stage, but Newcastle fans are right to be both concerned and irked by another case of Ashley's broken promises.

A vision that was supposed to take Newcastle into the Champions League has instead left them facing another relegation battle, one which their beleaguered boss no longer has the stomach for.

Moving to the London Stadium is perhaps not the most effective way of avoiding a scrap at the bottom, but it's hard to envisage him staying in the north-east for the long haul.

Should West Ham go for Benitez if they sack Bilic? Have your say in the comments. 

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