Betting odds shorten on the Magpies legend making a shock return to St James' Park once the takeover is complete, reports Max Liu...
"Rafa Benitez is still 6/4 favourite to be the next man in the St James' Park hotseat once the take over of the club by a group of Saudi-backed investors is completed."
Newcastle fans could be in for a sense of deja vu after the odds on Kevin Keegan becoming their next manager shortened to 9/4.
Rafa Benitez is still 6/4 favourite to be the next man in the St James' Park hotseat once the take over of the club by a group of Saudi-backed investors is completed.
But punters have been heavily backing Keegan to return over the last 24 hours and his price has come in from 20/1.
Keegan, who was a club legend as a player, has had two stints as Newcastle boss, first from 1992 to 1997 when he got them back into the top flight and nearly delivered the title to St James'. He is associated with the most exciting times in the club's recent history, with his teams playing attacking football that lit up the early seasons of the Premier League.
He returned as manager in 2008. It was a popular appointment, as Mike Ashley tried to win over fans and took to wearing a Magpies shirt with "King Kev" printed on the back. However, the honeymoon was shortlived and Keegan's second reign lasted just nine months. He has not managed since then so it would be a big surprise to see him return 12 years later.
Allegri and Pochettino look more plausible
For the new owners, meanwhile, who want to move the club on from the miserable Ashley era, it would feel counterproductive to hark back to a manager who is associated with its past. But bettors obviously think it's plausible that Keegan could be in line for a third stint in the dugout.
Other candidates for the Newcastle job, who have managed top clubs in recent seasons, include ex-Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri 10/3 and Mauricio Pochettino 9/2 who is looking for his first job since leaving Tottenham earlier this season.
Beyond that, Marcelo Bielsa is an interesting prospect at 14/1. He was in the midst of trying to get Leeds back into the Premier League when the season was suspended. His experience and charisma could appeal to the board, but he is probably committed to Leeds, at least for the remainder of this season.