The Independent is reporting this morning the meeting between Rafa and Mike Ashley did not in fact take place at the Benton Training ground last night, but rather a helicopter came in and whisked Rafa Benitez and others to a meeting with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley – presumably fairly close by.
While work is going on behind the scenes for Newcastle’s vital summer transfer window, there still has to be agreement reached between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley on the way forward for the club.
It’s also expected that Rafa and his staff will get new improved deals to stay at Newcastle long term if agreement can be reached.
Things need to move quickly, because Rafa wants the new players brought in early this summer, so they can all have a full pre-season on Tyneside before we start next season in the Premier League.
The hopes are that we can challenge in the top half of the table for a change next season in what we hope is Rafa’s first full season managing Newcastle United in the Premier League.
In ten years under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have finished in the top nine in the PL only once – when we finished 5th in 2012 – and then manager Alan Pardew and his team got eight year deal to keep them on Tyneside.
Certainly the scenes we witnessed on Sunday afternoon after we won the Championship were heartening – and it seemed like Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and Rafa Benitez were together – well at least in the photograph they were.
It’s not clear where the meeting last night actually took place, but the Independent is reporting the helicopter brought the Newcastle officials back to the Benton Training grounds later last night.
Now all we need to know is what happened and whether agreement was reached, although there are likely to be a number of meetings before everything is sorted out.
But there’s no time to waste and these meeting must take place this week if Newcastle are to get a good start in what will be a very busy summer transfer window for the club.
Rafa must be given the time to build his Premier League team for next season.