The Chronicle are reporting today that Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley had done some summer transfer planning last season, assuming we had stayed in the Premier League.
And one of our top targets would have been for Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, who moved to Premier League Champions Leicester City in the summer for £28M.
If we had signed Islam it would have been the biggest ever signing at Newcastle and £11M more than we paid for Michael Owen from Real Madrid back in 2005.
Islam Slimani at Leicester City this season
Lee negotiated in March for Rafa to come to the club and we expect some of this was agreed then.
At the time Rafa was confident he could keep Newcastle in the Premier League and therefore wanted to know what would be available in money terms in the summer.
Rafa also had a release clause in his contract in case we were relegated and it seems he meant to exercise that.
But the way Newcastle fans supported Rafa and the team in the alst 10 games persuaded him to stay, but only after another 10 days of negotiations with Lee Charnley.
You can bet your life that if we are promoted this season there will be big money made available to Rafa in the summer to bring in some top players – maybe some world-class players.
And that will be possible with Rafa being a big draw and hopefully we will have done very well in the Championship.