roberto martinez

Report: Newcastle ‘make contact’ with Martinez as search for Benitez replacement continues

Newcastle United have reportedly made contact with Roberto Martinez over the vacant managerial position at St James’ Park.

Newcastle are seeking a replacement for Rafael Benitez, following the Spaniard’s decision to leave the club at the expiry of his contract and subsequently join Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

The Magpies have been linked with a number of names, including Steven Gerrard, Gary Monk, Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho, although the Portuguese has seemingly ruled himself out of managing a club content with not challenging for honours.

According to the Sun, the club will now target a move for former Wigan and Everton boss Martinez, who is currently in charge of the Belgian national side.

Martinez has previously said he would stay with Belgium until after the 2020 European Championships, however the lure of a return to the Premier League may prove too difficult to resist.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is determined to appoint a manager with Premier League experience, and contact is believed to have been made with Martinez’s intermediaries regarding the switch.

Martinez began his managerial career at Swansea, impressing before joining Wigan who he led to a shock FA Cup triumph in 2013. The 45-year-old has not worked in the Premier League since being sacked by Everton in 2016.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have today confirmed that Spanish forward Ayoze Perez has completed a move to Leicester City, while Manchester United are interested in midfielder Sean Longstaff.

See also – Benitez blames ‘those at the top of the club’ for his Newcastle exit