Revealed! Why an ex-Sunderland manager has been at Newcastle United training
Former Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has been at Newcastle United training in recent weeks - having been invited by Rafa Benitez.
Grayson is one of several managers who has been invited to watch the Magpies train as Benitez looks to help inspire and encourage the next generation of coaches.
The former Sunderland boss joined Paul Heckingbottom, Sammy Lee, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and several others at the club's Benton training base as part of an LMA initiative.
Having watched a Newcastle training session, the group of managers were then able to engage in a healthy debate with Benitez and some of their colleagues while learning plenty in the process.
LIVE: Transfer latest from Sunderland - with updates on Ndong and DjilobodjiGrayson, who remains out of work after leaving Bradford City at the end of last season, spent only 18 games in charge at the Stadium of Light after enduring a poor start to the Championship campaign.
After being linked with the Blackpool job recently, he claimed he was taking some out of management to focus on his growing punditry career.
But this excursion to Tyneside suggests he is keen to keep himself involved in the world of coaching - and the Newcastle United manager believes that the experience will have been a positive for Grayson and others in attendance.
"When I was a young coach, I liked to go," said Benitez, speaking to nufc.co.uk.
"I went to America, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, so I liked to go and see other coaches and try and take something from everyone.
READ: Brendan Rodgers has this piece of advice for Jack Ross"In this case, with the FA and the LMA, we bring in some coaches here and it's great experience for them and for us.
"You can share experiences with them and if they see something that as a professional for them could be different, you can argue and have a discussion with them.
"It's positive for them and it's positive for us."
Grayson was one of the more experienced managers in attendance, with Benitez feeling his history in the game will have helped in aiding the younger coaches present.
"Obviously the young managers, they have different questions to the experienced managers," he added.
MORE: The five selection dilemmas facing Jack Ross"That's the good thing about that, because you can share your experience with them and it's important for everyone because when you finish you know that something was right.
"So you were learning something for sure, good or bad, but something was right."