Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley felt Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was ready to take over at St James’ Park despite having only one year of managerial experience.

However, according to the Mirror, the former Liverpool midfielder has turned down the offer.

Rafa Benitez left the club when his contract ran out on June 30 with the Spaniard insisting he wanted to stay but that the club did not share his vision for the future.

The 59-year-old took up the offer to join Chinese club Dalian Yifang on what is reported to be a two-and-a-half-year deal worth around £12million a year.

Benitez’s long running and often public battle with Ashley over the direction the club should take will no doubt be a warning of what is to come for whoever accepts the job on Tyneside.