Sky pundit Guillem Balague has ruled out the possibility of Rafa Benitez leaving Newcastle for the vacant manager's job at Stoke, claiming the Spaniard hasn't been approached by the Potters.

Chronicle Live reports that Benitez had been linked with the Stoke position following Mark Hughes' sacking. 

However, Spanish football expert Balague pretty much ruled out Benitez leaving for the bet365, suggesting on Twitter that the 57-year-old is focused on keeping the Magpies in the top flight.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss is a hugely popular figure at St. James' Park, but his future has been in doubt after a lack of funds from the board and the club's inability to bring in needed reinforcements has led to the club struggling at the wrong end of the table this season.

Despite talk of a takeover, Benitez says he is not sure if he will have funds for the January transfer window despite Newcastle in desperate need of a striker, with their top scorer being Ayoze Perez with just four goals in all competitions.

Stoke's search for a new boss is likely to continue as a result of the revelation, with the Potters wanting a new manager in place before their trip to Manchester United next Monday. 

Former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, ex-England Steve McClaren and current Republic of Ireland coach Martin O'Neill are their most likely targets.