RAFAEL BENITEZ will not be walking out on Newcastle United despite the club’s failure to make a single signing on transfer-deadline day, but the Magpies manager would seriously consider an offer from West Ham United if the London club were to part company with Slaven Bilic.

Benitez was left extremely frustrated after Newcastle failed to add anyone to their squad on Thursday as he had been confident that by trimming more than £200,000-a-week from the club’s wage bill in the final week of the window, he had created sufficient room for Mike Ashley to sanction some last-minute spending.

Newcastle were still pursuing targets when he left an elite coaching conference in Nyon on Thursday morning, but by the time he arrived at the club’s Benton training ground in the early afternoon, it had become apparent that a deal was unlikely. A cursory meeting with Lee Charnley after training confirmed as much, and Benitez left the training complex at around 6pm to ponder his future.

Despite the setback, he will not be quitting. There is an emotive explanation for his determination to see the job through as he has developed a strong bond with the Newcastle fans and does not want to leave the club in the lurch after devoting so much time and energy to securing promotion last season.

There is also a financial imperative to remain, however, as the terms of Benitez’s contract mean he would have to pay between £5-6m if he was to sever his ties with the Magpies now. Ashley and Charnley clearly know that, and their willingness to disregard Benitez’s wishes reflect the fact that they are in a powerful position. They do not want to lose such a popular and highly-regarded manager, but they also know it is all but impossible for him to walk away.

That would change if another club was prepared to buy him out of his contract though, and West Ham’s ongoing unhappiness with Bilic’s performance at the London Stadium provides an important dimension to the situation.

The West Ham hierarchy are long-standing admirers of Benitez, and the Newcastle manager would have taken over at Upton Park in 2015 had Real Madrid not made their move and lured him to the Bernabeu.

There is no resentment about Benitez’s conduct two years ago from West Ham – the club’s board accept they could not compete with Real – and the Spaniard would almost certainly be at the top of the Hammers’ wanted list if they were to dismiss Bilic, who has presided over three successive defeats at the start of the season, the most recent of which came against the Magpies.

West Ham might well regard a £6m buy-out as a price worth paying to attract a manager of the calibre of Benitez, and that would leave the Newcastle boss with a difficult choice to make. After Thursday, though, he might find it rather easier to come to a decision.