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Rafa Benitez: “My heart is telling me” to stay at Newcastle despite relegation

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Rafael Benitez, manager of Newcastle United gives the thumbs up during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park on May 15, 2016 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Rafa Benitez, second-tier manager?

That could be a reality after Newcastle United was relegated despite his best efforts to turn things around for the St. James Park set.

[ MORE: Match recap | Pochettino reacts ]

A petition with more than 15,000 signatures was gathered to try to convince him to stay, and then his Magpies went out and throttled Tottenham 5-1 to finish the season.

So, Rafa, what’re you thinking? From the BBC:

“My heart is telling me yes (to stay), it is a great opportunity, city and club but my brain is saying to analyze what is going on.

“I am really open to talking and see what happens. I have been in football all this time you want to be sure people love you and if you work hard that they recognise that you are trying your best and I have this here.

“I knew that every day when I walk in the streets. Everyone is so positive and the atmosphere today doesn’t surprise me too much. They were supporting for 90 minutes, I knew it would be like this and that is why I am so open to keep on talking.”

It’s imperative that Newcastle convinces Rafa to stick around, not because another manager can’t help the back to the top flight, but on account of what it could mean to keeping the Magpies’ stars around despite the drop.

Will he stay?

Follow @NicholasMendola