Newcastle United make the long trip down to the south coast on Saturday for a crunch clash against fellow strugglers Southampton.
In a combined 18 Premier League matches so far this season, the dismal duo only have just one win between them, and unfortunately for the Toon it’s the Saints who have stamped that sole victory on the board.
Last weekend Newcastle slumped to a desperately disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton which extended their woeful winless start to nine games as they sank to the foot of the table.
A fourth straight loss to the 16th-placed Saints could well spell the end for the under-fire Benitez, who could either be sacked or instead hurl in the towel, and few could blame him.
Newcastle have reportedly already lined-up a replacement for Benitez, should either of the above outcomes occur.
French publication Le 10 Sport states that the Magpies are musing over the possibility of luring Leonardo Jardim over to St James’ Park, although they could well face competition from Leicester City.
Jardim enjoyed great success in France during four years at the helm of Monaco. The Portuguese coach led his troops to Ligue 1 glory in 2016/17, and reached the Champions League semi-finals in the same season, with his side dazzling domestically and in Europe through their pulsating brand of attacking football.
Jardim’s tenure came to an end earlier this month following a poor start to the season, as Thierry Henry ventured over in the other direction.
Jardim, 44, has managed in France, Portugal, and Greece - he won the title with Olympiakos - but should Newcastle come calling he may well be tempted by a fresh challenge in England, although there’s every chance he’d be put off by the club’s current position in the table coupled with the fact that Mike Ashley is still running the show.
Jardim currently doesn’t feature in Paddy Power’s Next Newcastle Manager Market, which is led by Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.