At this current moment in time, the hierarchy at Newcastle United are believably no closer to agreeing a deal with Rafa Benitez with regards to his future.
In the unlikely event of a takeover or Mike Ashley changing his ways, it looks like Newcastle United will be without the gifted tactician from the 30th of June. This isn't a problem for the Spaniard with his high profile CV attracting many teams such as West Ham, Everton and a few teams in the middle east with some Chinese and Saudi sides willing to pay in excess of £10m per season for his services.
With a long list of suitors for Rafa's services, it is important to consider some of the managerial options that Newcastle United could possibly turn to in the likely event that the Spaniard refuses to renew his contract.
The former Newcastle boss may be available for the Magpies to latch on to in the event that Brighton and Hove Albion are relegated from the Premier League. Brighton currently stand in 17th position, 3 points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to play. They play Newcastle United on Saturday with their last two remaining games of the season to be played versus Arsenal and current champions Manchester City, a difficult and trying time for the Seagulls.
The former Toon manager joined as a first team coach in 2008 and followed Newcastle to the Championship when Newcastle were relegated in the 2009-10 season. Hughton became caretaker manager and eventually became permanent manager whilst breaking many records in the push for immediate promotion back to the top flight. The Seagulls boss has every right to turn away Newcastle United after he was sacked the following December with the Magpies sitting firmly in 12th place. With the current ambition of the club that the hierarchy seem to have at the moment, the reliable man has proven that he can suffice at the smaller clubs with less spending. The next three games may determine his long term future for Brighton.
Recently the caretaker manager for West Brom last season, Darren Moore almost made the impossible possible. Alan Pardew was sacked in early April giving the Jamaican coach just over a month to save rock bottom West Brom from the perilous drop. Being 10 points adrift of 17th was a difficult feat to achieve and West Brom may have been saved if the board acted earlier. West Brom had a poor run of games coming into the new year with the coach being sacked in March for a poor run of form in home games. It may be the next step for Moore to move on to his next managerial job now that Newcastle are safe.
A controversial inclusion but one to consider. David Moyes may have had a role to play in Sunderland getting relegated but you have to keep in mind the squad that he had inherited. With little to no investment given, consistent use of youth players and their better players leaving, Moyes didn't exactly inherit the best of scenarios. It is important to remember that under Moyes' stewardship, Everton qualified for the third round of the Champions league in 2005 and reached an FA cup final in 2009 with much less investment than others in the top 6. He also played a pivotal role in keeping West Ham in the premier league after the dismissal of Slaven Bilic guiding The Hammers to a 13th placed finish. You may also look at his work at Real Sociedad but see that was a different league and he could actually be more help than hindrance at a club that is at least looking to stay up if not be working on that mid-table finish.
Inspiring an unlikely push for promotion through the play-offs, it was a miracle alone that Huddersfield Town were able to reach the promised Premier League shores let alone extend their Premier League stay for more than a season. Wagner could be attracted to the increase in resources that Newcastle United had over Huddersfield and may be a fan of the Newcastle faithful. The German-American coach may also be inclined to join with Newcastle having a fairly great academy setup with the youngster in to the Premier League cup final at this moment in time. Wagner used to manage the Borussia Dortmund reserves and may be able to find more talent such as Sean Longstaff has shown in the youth setup and may be a surprising asset if he were to nail pen to paper for The Magpies.
The title winning manager with Leicester City truly took the competition to new levels and knew his Leicester team inside and out. Fringe players such as Mahrez for £1.5m and Kante for £5.6m proved that you do not need to splash out to win the league, although it does help. The Italian manager recently joined Roma but could be considered an option if Roma decide to invest in a new manager or if he doesn't stay in the job long. He proved his worth at clubs such as Chelsea, Atletico, Juventus and the list goes on with a huge number of teams managed. He may be the least likely to join on this list but with him joining Fulham, the newly promoted and relegated side, perhaps he could be convinced to switch to Tyneside at some point in the near future.
It may prove extremely difficult to attract another high profile manager such as Benitez in the future which is why Mike Ashley and the board need to answer to Rafa's every last command to keep the Newcastle faithful pleased, to keep the Spaniard pleased and to overall give Newcastle the best chance of becoming a top team again.