The Newcastle fans laid it on thick with Rafa Benitez during the final game of the season at St James’ Park as the hosts thrashed Tottenham 5-1.
Singing their manager’s name throughout, the Toon Army left him in no doubt he is wanted on Tyneside, despite failing to steer them clear of relegation.
Benitez confirmed in March that he had a release clause in his contract should the club be demoted, but suggested after the game that he is “really open to talking [with Newcastle] and see[ing] what happens”.
“My heart is telling me yes [to stay], it is a great opportunity, city and club,” the former Liverpool boss told BBC Sport.
“But my brain is saying to analyse what is going on.”
Once the sentimentality engendered by such a cockle-warming final-day victory and accompanying terrace lionisation subsides and cold, calculating analysis takes place, it is unlikely he will succumb to the Magpies’ overtures.
Benitez is 1/2 not to be managing Newcastle on the first day of next season and shrewd enough to realise the club are in a different place to the one that bagged promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt.
This squad has precious little of the leadership and experience possessed by Kevin Nolan, Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, Peter Lovenkrands and Steve Harper that was so invaluable as they won the second-tier title with 102 points.
Players such as Moussa Sissoko or Georginio Wijnaldum, who have mysteriously rediscovered their form as the European Championships and the transfer window approaches cannot be relied upon to hang around either.
Sissoko in particular, had been agitating for a move earlier in the campaign and is unlikely to find the prospect of Championship football appealing.
The Spaniard is 6/4 to still be steering the ship at St James’ at the beginning of next term, but would be sensible to bid Tyneside a fond farewell.
Heading into a division unknown to him with a side short on leadership and experience and likely to lose a few of its star players offers little guarantee that the step down in class will be reputation restoring.
Fail at a lower level with a club widely expected to bounce straight back and it would be difficult to plot a route back to the Champions League-chasing jobs he should be pursuing.