Newcastle fans may endure the painful sight of seeing Rafa Benitez in St James’ Park’s away dugout, with the Daily Mirror reporting West Ham could lure him back to England.
The Hammers are without a win in six games, which has put Manuel Pellegrini’s position under threat, and leaves them languishing 16th in the Premier League table.
Most Newcastle fans still pine for Rafa, and wish he was still in charge, with many hoping that a new owner would come in and make reinstalling their hero their top priority.
So it is still a raw wound that Toon supporters would be having salt rubbed into, should Benitez be tempted into a Premier League return in London.
West Ham have tried admired Rafa for years
West Ham have tried – and failed – to get Rafa as their manager before, with him being close to accepting the job in 2015, before the late intervention of Real Madrid.
They were also linked with him before appointing Pellegrini, when they tried to take advantage of the uncertainty of his Newcastle future, which seemed to crop up every year during his spell in charge.
The report claims Rafa would “listen with interest” if West Ham came calling, but it is unlikely the Hammers could match the enormous salary he is receiving in China.
It would also be a test of his resolve, with him being renowned for his loyalty and his reluctance to break a contract.
If a Premier League club with potential made a serious offer for Rafa, it would be extremely difficult for him to turn down, and it would be no surprise if he did make his return to England.
It would be a blow to Newcastle fans, though, who were devastated at his departure, but not seeing him at another Premier League club, made the lost slightly more bearable.