London, May 13 (IANS) Former footballer and coach of Newcastle United Alan Shearer has said he would be “amazed” if Spanish Rafael Benitez stayed on the bench of the club, which has fallen from the English Premier League (EPL) and will play in the Championship next season.
The northern England side was on Wednesday relegated to the Championship, the second tier of English soccer, after Sunderland defeated Everton 3-0, standing at 17th place and keeping Newcastle, Norwich City and Aston Villa in the relegation zone.
“A guy of great stature, a world-renowned coach with his CV, managing in the Championship? I can’t see it happening. I’d love to be wrong. It would be brilliant if he was to stay,” Shearer told BBC Radio on Thursday.
“I know it’s a huge football club and I know he’s been very impressed with how the fans have taken to him, but I’d be amazed if he stayed. I’m sure he’ll have loads and loads of offers, not only from the Premier League but from around the world,” added Shearer.
Benitez came to the Magpies last March to replace English Steve McClaren, but in nine games on the bench in St. James’ Park he has not managed to avoid relegation.
The Spanish coach, 56, signed a three-year contract with Newcastle but added a break clause if the team fell to the second division.