Newcastle are set to “go all-out” to land Belgium national team boss Roberto Martinez as a replacement for Rafa Benitez, who departed St James’ Park on Sunday, according to the Sun.

The former Everton and Wigan manager has experience of managing in the Premier League – something the report claims is an important condition for Mike Ashley.

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The story claims, although the 45-year-old has a contract until 2020, the Belgian FA are fearing the worst, should Newcastle make an official approach.

After rumours of a new direction from the club, with names like Mikel Arteta, Steven Gerrard and Patrick Vieira mentioned as potential managerial candidates, Martinez has something of an anti-climactic feel about it.

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The club had the chance to make a fresh start by appointing a young, hungry manager, and show some ambition by backing him in the transfer market, giving the fans someone to get behind and excited about.

Roberto Martinez would be an underwhelming choice as manager

But in Martinez, they appear to be going for more of the same, and taking the less ambitious option – which encapsulates Newcastle United under Mike Ashley’s ownership.

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He is not a name that will instantly excite supporters, and is likely to underwhelm an already disillusioned, angry fan-base.

It remains to be seen if Martinez will become the new manager, with Arteta still involved in the conversation.

If it was between the two Spaniards, the Manchester City number two would surely be the fans’ preference to be in the dugout next season.

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