Newcastle Links to Gennaro Gattuso Played Down as No Discussions Have Taken Place

​Newcastle have not yet opened talks with former Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso, despite reports linking the Italian with a move to St James' Park.

Recent reports in Italy had claimed the Magpies are keen on recruiting the Italian as a potential replacement for Rafa Benitez. Gattuso left Milan last week after finishing fifth in Serie A and missing out on Champions League football by one point.

Gennaro Gattuso

However, the ​Chronicle now reports that no discussions have taken place between ​Newcastle and Gattuso's representatives.

Gattuso is thought to be keen on the Premier League following his decision to step down at Milan. The Italian gave up a two year contract at the club he played at for 13 years, as Milan look to cut costs following being pipped to the Champions League by rivals Inter.

Gattuso said: "Deciding to leave ​Milan’s bench is not easy. But it’s a decision I had to make.

Gennaro Gattuso

“There was not a precise moment in which I decided it: it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of a team that for me will never be like the others. Months that I lived with great passion, unforgettable months. It is a painful but thoughtful choice.

“Am I giving up a two-year contract? Yes, because my story with Milan can never be a question of money.”

Rafael Benitez

Current Newcastle boss Benitez's future has been uncertain for months, with the Spaniard yet to agree a contract extension amid reports he wants guarantees over the club's spending budget. 

Benitez has impressed during his time at St James' Park and led Newcastle to a 13th place finish in the ​Premier League this season. Serie A side Roma are thought to be keen on a move for the former Liverpool boss.

Roma have also been linked with a move for Gattuso, as have fellow Serie A sides Lazio and Sampdoria.

Mike Ashley

Newcastle are on the verge of a takeover, as much-maligned owner Mike Ashley appears to be close to selling the club to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed.

Source : 90min