Marseille have shortlisted Rafa Benitez as a candidate for their manager’s role — despite their current coach still in the job.

Stories in France persist, despite Rafa consistently ruling out a move to La Liga.

French publication L’Equipe claim the Spaniard is among a number of high profile options to take over from Rudi Garcia.

(Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport)

The report also states that it is the previously denied “French intermediaries” that are touting Benitez around France. But encouragingly for fans, it also claims that the Newcastle proposal makes it difficult and unlikely to materialise.

Benitez is again expected to shun any approach from France. His sole focus is on ironing out a deal to stay on Tyneside.

Continued silence will lead to more unwanted rumours

These claims come on the back of similar rumours around Celtic, who would love Benitez to take over from Neil Lennon.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The hierarchy have no one but themselves to blame for all the counterproductive speculation. Their lackadaisical approach to talks with Benitez has only been detrimental to the club.

These talks could, and should, have been concluded weeks ago. Yet still fans and players alike are reading potential destinations for their manager, while transfer business takes a back-seat.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Whatever happens with talks now, any manager will now be playing catch-up, and with a shorter transfer window this summer, time is at a premium.

Sadly, it is typical of Newcastle over the last decade.

Shockingly, no one is surprised at their lethargic approach to negotiations. That fact speaks volumes about the running of the football club.

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