The Mail is reporting tonight that Rafa Benitez has continued to work on potential transfer targets today at his home on the Wirral.
The fine details of the agreement between Rafa and Newcastle are still being worked on – and Rafa wants everything written down when a final agreement is reached.
Rafa Benitez – working on transfer targets
Here’s what the Mail’s Craig Hope has tweeted tonight on the current situation.
Benitez/NUFC situation unchanged. He’s working on transfer targets. Set to stay. Ashley promised him control. Fine details being sorted.
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) May 18, 2016
So there doesn’t seem to be too much new to report after another 24 hours in this saga.
We would assume Rafa is also working to get his scouting network set up, with news being leaked continually that Chief Scout Graham Carr will leave the club shortly and most likely retire.
Whether Rafa stays or not, there is a ton of work to be done to get ready for the Championship season, which starts on August 7th.
A pre-season schedule of games needs to be worked out – and Rafa also wants upgrades made to the Benton Training grounds, which are insufficient for what he wants to do with the first team squad.
One of the important areas Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley are working on is the budget for next season and how much in transfer funds will be made available to Rafa this summer.
The budget will also force an answer to the question of how many layoffs will be made to the non-playing staff to cut operating costs.
The two men are also presumably discussing just how Newcastle managed to get themselves relegated last season.
While a real business would hold people accountable for the debacle, there is a report in the Telegraph today that Mike Ashley is considering appointing an executive who will work with and presumably help Lee Charnley with the executive duties of the club.
Lee has shown quite conclusively over the last two years that he has neither the skill, experience, background or education to hold the position he currently has at the club – but it looks like he will essentially retain that position at the club.
That could only happen at Newcastle, just like the diabolical relegation this season could only happen at Newcastle.
Any PL club would have fired Steve McClaren before the end of last year – so hopeless was his record – but there again no other PL clubs would have appointed Steve in the first place, after he was sacked by Derby County.
And the National press continues to doubt that Rafa will take the Newcastle manager job in the English second division, after he started last season as the manager of 10 times European Champions Real Madrid – the most famous football club in the world.
We shall see.