Jose Mourinho ‘open to replacing rival Benitez’ as Newcastle boss under new owners as takeover by Sheikh Khaled continues

JOSE MOURINHO would be willing to talk to Newcastle's prospective new owners about taking over as the club's manager, according to reports.

Current boss Rafa Benitez is out of contract at the end of June and it is still unclear whether he will put pen to paper on an extension.

As revealed by SunSport, billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is close to buying the club from Mike Ashley.

Terms have been agreed and the Bin Zayed Group told SunSport a proof of funds statement was sent to Ashley's lawyers in April.

But despite the new owners set to boost the spending power in the transfer window, it may not be Benitez who reaps the rewards.

The Sheikh may decide to get rid of the Spaniard – who is adored by the Toon faithful – and bring in his own manager.

And according to the Sunday Mirror, he is keen on former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho.

It would be another bizarre crossover in the managerial careers of Mourinho and Benitez, long-term rivals from their spells at Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.

Rafa took over from Mourinho at Inter Milan after the Portuguese won the treble but endured a difficult time at the San Siro.

And then when Jose left Real Madrid in 2013, he took over from Benitez at Chelsea while the Spaniard eventually held the job at the Bernabeu, albeit two years later once Carlo Ancelotti was gone.


Mourinho, 56, is thought to be keen on the Geordies after his working relationship with Bobby Robson and has reportedly told friends he would consider any offer 'seriously'.

Speaking last summer, the Special One said: "I like to go there. I like the feeling of going to Mr Robson’s home. I like that feeling.

"I like the stadium. I like the atmosphere. They are a good, enthusiastic crowd. I like the Geordies."

Jose has been out of work since December when he was sacked as Manchester United manager during his third season at Old Trafford.

And while he has been doing some punditry work since then, he will no doubt be keen to step back into a dugout.

Newcastle may not be winning trophies like his previous clubs – including Real Madrid and Inter Milan as well – but he will be confident of pushing them to greater success, especially with financial backing.

However, if he did get the job, Newcastle fans will be desperate his poor record at St. James' Park improves.

From seven league matches there, he has failed to win a single one – he has three draws and four defeats.

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