Newcastle go all-out to get Belgium boss Roberto Martinez to replace Rafa Benitez

MIKE ASHLEY is set for a shock bid to lure Roberto Martinez to Newcastle.

The Belgian FA are bracing for an approach from Toon owner Ashley to snatch their Spanish manager.

Martinez led the Red Devils to third place at the World Cup and his deal runs until the end of Euro 2020 — but Belgian FA sources “fear the worst” over a battle for the ex-Everton chief.

Ashley is determined to land a boss with experience of playing or coaching in the Prem.

Mikel Arteta, assistant to Pep Guardiola at champs Manchester City, is also a contender — plus there was interest in Arsenal legend and current Nice boss Patrick Vieira.

Martinez’s reputation was built on success with style at Swansea, then a stunning FA Cup triumph with Wigan in 2013.

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At Everton, he managed a fifth-placed finish as he got the best out of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman.

Ashley will be expected to put together a very attractive package — including assurances over investment in the squad Benitez left behind.

Martinez, 45, can also prepare to pocket a huge increase to his basic Belgium salary of less than £1million a year.

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