Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is reportedly among the candidates being considered to replace Roberto Martinez at Everton. Martinez's position has come under pressure in recent weeks following a disappointing season, and the former Liverpool manager has emerged as an unlikely candidate to step into his shoes.

Benitez signed a three-year deal with the Magpies in March, when he succeeded Steve McClaren at St James' Park. However, there is a break clause inserted in the deal in the event of Newcastle being relegated.

Everton's hierarchy are currently weighing up their managerial situation following a season of underachievement and Benitez, 56 – who has also managed Chelsea in the Premier League – is attracting interest from Goodison Park, according to the Daily Mail.

Benitez's potential move to Everton is given extra spice by some condescending remarks he made about the Toffees in 2007, when he was managing their cross-city rivals Liverpool. "When you play against the smaller teams at Anfield you know the game will be narrow and compact and at times we were a little bit nervous," Benitez said following a goalless draw between Liverpool and Everton.

"We are really disappointed. You could see one team that wanted to win. It was difficult because they were defending."

Meanwhile, Benitez has lifted Newcastle out of the drop zone after taking eight points from their last four matches. The Magpies face Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur in their remaining games.