Newcastle draw up three-man shortlist to replace Rafa Benitez – one shock inclusion

Newcastle United are looking into luring Patrick Vieira from Nice to take over as head coach, according to the Telegraph.

Vieira had a relatively good season with Nice in the French Ligue 1, finishing seventh.

The Magpies have spoken to the former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder in the past.

He was interviewed for the vacant managerial role in 2015, which the club eventually gave to Steve McClaren.

Mikel Arteta’s name has also been thrown into the mix

But, it’s unclear whether Vieira would be interested in leaving Nice after spending just 12 months in charge.

He could, however, be tempted to listen to any offers, if Newcastle did approach him.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has insisted he’s happy at Rangers after a decent start to his managerial life.

Rangers pushed Celtic into their first title race in years, and Gerrard wants to continue his project before moving on.

Mikel Arteta’s name has also been thrown into the mix for the Newcastle job.

The Spaniard is currently serving as Pep Guardiola’s number two at Man City.

He was a candidate to takeover from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal last summer, but the club eventually chose Unai Emery instead.

Arteta is keen to move into management soon, but it’s believed he’s hesitant to start at Newcastle.

Newcastle started their search for a new head coach after they parted company with Rafa Benitez on Monday.

The club said it was disappointed that a new deal couldn’t be agreed with the Spaniard, who was at Newcastle since 2016.

“It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019,” said Newcastle.

“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.”

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