The Magpies were hoping to hold onto their star coach beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of this month, but the revealed earlier today that the ex-Liverpool boss had rejected fresh terms and would depart for pastures new.
That’s led to bookmakers pricing up the runners and riders to replace Benitez, and some may be surprised to see Vieira at the top of the pile.
Skybet and Boyle Sports have Vieira as the 11/2 and 6/1 favourite, ahead of names such as Garry Monk, Mikel Arteta and even Jose Mourinho:
Vieira was undoubtedly a legend in his playing days, having captained an ‘Invincible’ Arsenal side, as well as lifting the World Cup and European Championships with France.
But is the 43-year-old – who is currently in his first senior managerial role in European football at Nice – the right man to fill Benitez’s shoes?
Let us know in the comments section below…