We would expect that Managing Director Lee Charnley behind the scenes has already started Newcastle’s transfer business, now that Newcastle know they will be playing back in the Premier League next season.
Rafa and Lee will have already held some transfer meetings, possibly with Graham Carr involved and Lee will now start moving for some of Rafa’s top targets.
Rafa will finalize the list of those players who will not be receiving new deals on Tyneside and those who have deals, but are surplus to requirements.
And for the manager to vastly improve the squad for next season and relieve the wage bill for new players coming in – he will need to be ruthless – much like he was last summer.
Players whose contracts run out at the end of June include Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic, Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran.
And players likely to be made surplus to requirements could include the likes of Massadio Haidara, Henri Saivet, Kevin Mbabu and Emmanuel Riviere – among others.
At some point too, Rafa will have his one-on-one meeting with owner Mike Ashley, but that may have to wait until Sunday May 7th when we host Barnsley in the final game of the Championship season.
Rafa wants two wins in the last two games of the season.
Because he wants to win every game of course.
After May 7th we can all watch the Championship playoffs to see which club will be coming up with Brighton and ourselves – but that’s Russian roulette – not something we wanted to go through.
The nerves of our fans are already shattered.
And maybe the owner can attend that final game against Barnsley at home and then meet with Rafa in the St. James’ Park boardroom.
That’s much like he did at the last game of last season a year ago when we took Tottenham apart 5-1, after we had been relegated – this time it should be a lot more upbeat meeting between the two of them.
We hope it will be a lot happier between the two of them.
Lee and Rafa will also have to decide on pre-season friendly games and whether there will be any tour this summer.
Somehow, we don’t think that will happen because Rafa will likely want to concentrate on training with his new players, in what will be an all important season for both the manager and the club back in the Premier League.
And yes, the national papers have quickly played up a possible rift between Rafa and Mike Ashley, because that’s what they do.
And if we are reading the tea-leaves correctly it does appear that Rafa was not too happy that no money was made available to him in the January transfer window.
He was obviously expecting money to be made available for new players like Andros Townsend and possibly James McCarthy, but Mike seemed to pull the plug around January 15th.
We think it’s simply a storm in a teacup and Mike would be daft to do anything that would cause Rafa – already considered a living God on Tyneside – to leave the club.
Rafa’s making far too much money for Mike and Newcastle, for the owner to do that.
Rafa is Newcastle United at the moment.
Here’s a recent poll we put out listing a number of our potential transfer targets and giving each reader six votes to pick the players they wanted in at Newcastle during the summer transfer window.