Benitez steered the ship at Newcastle from March 2016 to the summer of 2019, leaving the Magpies following the expiration of his contract.


The Spaniard is currently managing Chinese top flight side Dalian Professional, but claims of him retuning to Tyneside and replacing Bruce were floated during Newcastle’s takeover talks.



However, Benitez insists he was never looking to cut his stint in China short and return to Newcastle as he is determined to honour his current contract.


The 60-year-old still has a special place in his heart for Newcastle and expressed his gratitude at still being able to maintain a connection with the Magpies faithful and the club through social media.



“No [I am not looking to replace Bruce], I have a contract”, Benitez told The Athletic


“I have a job.



“You have seen that I am working.


“I was watching I’m A Celebrity on television recently and I put something on Instagram about Ant and Dec.


“Immediately, the Newcastle fans were ‘boom boom boom’, bombarding me with messages.


“It was really good! You keep this connection.”


Newcastle are currently 12th in the league standings with 18 points to their name, and only time will tell whether Benitez will once again take over the reins of the Tyneside giants.