Newcastle United are still hopeful of keeping manager Rafa Benitez at the club beyond the end of the 2018/19 season, and have recently been rejecting all contact from any potential successors.
Benitez is highly respected by fans of the club, but has been involved in a very public standoff with owner Mike Ashley. The duo have been clashing over a perceived lack of financial investment from Ashley, and the supporter base has also been very public in showing frustration.
There are huge doubts about Benitez's long-term future at the club, with the former Liverpool boss' contract expiring at the end of the season. However, Newcastle are apparently still confident that Benitez could remain in charge beyond that.
According to The Daily Mirror, several agents have contacted Newcastle to arrange a replacement for the Spaniard, but Newcastle have rebuffed all advances as of yet.
There will be a crucial meeting between club officials and Benitez in the near future, and this discussion could see a final decision made about the manager's future at the club. Benitez will meet with his recruitment team in the next few weeks to discuss their summer dealings, and hope to find out whether there will be any significant improvement in January.
Benitez publicly requested further investment in the playing squad but, despite making a £21m profit this summer, Newcastle failed to significantly strengthen their side. They brought in the likes of Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Yoshinori Muto, but it is widely believed that the club need to add more quality to the side.
Newcastle currently sit 18th in the Premier League table, and have been guilty of some bitterly disappointing performances this season.
It is believed that Benitez will only consider remaining at the club if significant investments are made in the playing squad, youth academy and the training ground.
Ashley is reportedly looking to sell the team, and will be keen for Benitez to remain at the club as it will help increase the value of the club. However, as it stands, Benitez will walk away at the end of the season, which means Ashley may be forced to act when the winter transfer window opens.