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Newcastle ‘make contact’ with Martinez

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NEWCASTLE have reportedly made contact with Roberto Martinez over taking over as Toon manager following the departure of Rafa Benitez.

Benitez left the Magpies at the end of his contract after failing to agree fresh terms with under-fire owner Mike Ashley.

He has since penned a lucrative deal with Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

Former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss Martinez is currently in charge of the Belgian national side as they work towards another tilt at major silverware at Euro 2020.

But, according to The Sun, Newcastle chiefs have now sounded out intermediaries of the Spaniard as they search for a replacement for ex-Liverpool manager Benitez.

Martinez said last month he would stay with Belgium until the end of Euro 2020, but the 45-year-old has never hidden his intention to return to Premier League management in the future.

He has not had a domestic job since been sacked by Everton in May 2016 and a club the size of Newcastle could prove too tempting to turn down.

And the Belgian FA reportedly ‘fear the worst’ should United make an official approach.

Martinez forged a reputation for football that was easy on the eye during spells at Swansea and Wigan, recording a stunning FA Cup triumph with the Latics in 2013.

But he came under fire from the Goodison Park faithful after a promising start with Everton, before becoming Belgium boss.

He led the Red Devils to a third-placed finish at the 2018 World Cup.

Mikel Arteta is another name linked with the vacant St James’ Park hotseat – but he may be more difficult to prise away from Manchester City where he is Pep Guardiola’s No.2.

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