Newcastle Utd takeover talks ONGOING as new front-runner to replace Benitez emerges

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It’s been a difficult period for Newcastle Utd fans after it was confirmed that Rafa Benitez would be leaving the club this summer when his contract expires.

Given the job that the Spanish tactician has done on Tyneside, it was a hugely unpopular development as the search now begins to identify his successor.

SEE MORE: Newcastle United to press ahead with £55million double transfer following Rafael Benitez exit

There may be better news on the horizon for Newcastle fans though, as the Shields Gazette report that the Bin Zayed Group’s takeover of the club is ‘still in motion’, and so the potential of increased investment under their ownership will be a huge boost if a takeover is completed.

Meanwhile, the quicker that Newcastle are able to appoint a successor to Benitez the better, giving the new man in charge as much time as possible to settle in and prepare his side for the new campaign.

The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope has told talkSPORT that current Man City assistant coach Mikel Arteta has emerged as a possible front-runner for the job.

“One name which has been put to me is that of Mikel Arteta,” he is quoted as saying. “I think if they were going down a head coach route then I think that would make a lot of sense.

“He’s obviously shown ambition to give it a go on his own and he was very close to the Arsenal job last year. And there’s a Spanish link in that a fair few of the players are Spanish, notably Ayoze Perez.”

Given his experience as a player in England coupled with learning the ropes under Pep Guardiola at City, the Spaniard is arguably in a great position to now take that next step and go it alone.

It’s perhaps a risk for Newcastle given his lack of experience in a top job, but ultimately he could build on the fine work done by Benitez and keep the club moving forward with takeover talks continuing.

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