Former Celtic ace Johan Mjallby has insisted that Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez should not be ruled out of the running for the job at Parkhead as his contract runs down at the Premier League side.
The Spaniard’s deal comes to an end this summer and with no new terms in the offing as yet, the Hoops legend has tipped the former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss to make the move north of the border in a pursuit for silverware – and alarm bells should be ringing on Tyneside.
What has been said?
Having spent three years at St James’ Park, Benitez has grown frustrated with the board’s lack of ambition both on and off the pitch and it seems there is plenty of negotiating to be done if he is to stay on.
With the Hoops on the brink of sealing their eighth successive Premiership title and with European football on the cards, Mjallby insists that his old side should not be written off as a potential next destination for the Spaniard.
Speaking about the prospect of Benitez moving to Parkhead, he told the Daily Star: “Why not? You can’t talk Celtic down. Obviously, Rangers have had difficult years but they are massive clubs and either one of them should win the league every year.
“But even if you have been the manager of big clubs in other major leagues, the pressure you have as a Celtic manager is enormous. But you have the chance to win trophies every year at Parkhead.”
Why should Newcastle be worried?
Much like Newcastle, Celtic would be a project for Benitez but instead of trying to climb the Premier League table, he would be tasked with trying to take the Hoops to the next level on the European stage.
He might not get the money he could get in the Premier League – although at Newcastle, that is not a guarantee anyway – but he would get a supportive board who would no doubt appreciate his list of contacts.
A title is almost guaranteed, another box ticked for the Spanish boss, but being able to take a historic club and turning them back into European challengers is the real challenge – and one which Benitez could relish.