Gennaro Gattuso has responded to reports in Italy suggesting he could be in line to take over the Newcastle manager's role, should current boss Rafael Benitez leave his post at the end of the season.
The Italian is currently in charge of Milan but his position at the club is looking increasingly uneasy, with the club desperately clinging on to fourth spot in Serie A.
With both Benitez and Gattuso's situations unclear, Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport claimed the former Rangers midfielder met with super agent Jorge Mendes for dinner in the centre of the city, with the two being acquaintances for some time - but the topic of Newcastle arose.
However, Gattuso rebuffed these claims, stating that his meeting with Mendes was purely as friends, and that links to the Magpies are wide of the mark.
“Mendes? We see each other often. I like good food and to talk about football," he told Rai Sport. "Newcastle? Unfounded voices. With Mendes, there is only great friendship.”
While rumours of a move to Tyneside appear unsubstantiated, the Milan manager's position at the club is still uncertain, with the club's hierarchy setting their sights higher than the the Rossoneri's current position of fourth place in the league. According to Tutto Mercato Web, in order for the Serie A giants to reach this goal then a coach with a higher profile is needed.
#Gattuso in esclusiva a #RaiSport risponde sul suo incontro con #Mendes “Ci vediamo spesso, mi piace la buona cucina e parlare di calcio. #Newcastle? Voci infondate, con #Mendes solo grande amicizia” Questa sera ore 18.30 #TgSport #MilanLazio @rockyfranz #CALCIOeMERCATO pic.twitter.com/R6tak4lkgc— RaiSport (@RaiSport) April 23, 2019
Newcastle have secured their Premier League status for another year under the Spaniard's stewardship, yet Benitez has refused to give reassurances he will remain at St James' Park after repeated demands for the club to show more ambition in the transfer market.
As such, the former Champions League winner could be set for the exit door in the summer when the 59-year-old's contract expires.