Van Bronckhorst interested in replacing Benitez at Newcastle, agent reveals

The former Barcelona and Arsenal defender is the first man to publicly throw his hat into the ring to take the top job at St James' Park

Former Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst is interested in succeeding Rafael Benitez at Newcastle, his agent has revealed.

It was confirmed on Monday that Benitez will leave the north-east club when his contract expires on Sunday after talks over a new deal broke down, bringing to an end his three-and-a-half year stay at St James' Park.

The early favourite for the vacancy is Garry Monk, who is available after leaving Birmingham City earlier this month. Burnley boss Sean Dyche, former Manchester United manager David Moyes and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta are also believed to be in contention for the position.

But Van Bronckhorst has become the first man to publicly declare his interest in the role, with his representativ, Guido Albers, confirming the former Arsenal defender would be keen on managing in England.

I think the rumours have come a little bit early and no-one from the club has spoken to Gio. But I think every coach in the world would be interested in working in the Premier League, Albers told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

And what we would say if a club like Newcastle has an opportunity to work for them then of course he would be interested in doing that. It is an amazing club with an amazing fanbase but it's up to them who they decide to go for.

Giovanni left Feyenoord, he was competing on a limited budget but won the Eredivisie against two clubs in Ajax and PSV who have greater resources. He had a great relationship with the fans, the players, the media and the city and he's ready for the next challenge.

Van Bronckhorst's only managerial experience to date was that four-year spell in charge of boyhood club Feyenoord.

The 44-year-old took charge in 2015 and led the club to the Eredivisie title two years later, their first league title in 18 years. He also won two KNVB Cups and two Dutch Super Cups before leaving the club at the end of last season.

Prior to that Van Bronckhorst had a successful playing career, winning 14 major honours at Feyenoord, Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona. He also earned 106 caps for the Netherlands and was part of the side that reached the 2010 World Cup final.

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