Helicopter Whisks Rafa And Others To Ashley Meeting Last Night

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.

Comments welcome.

109 comments so far


    May 10, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #1

    From previous
    I don’t think it was defensive I think it was controlled defensive will be next season imo so Atsu will be in the same boat…but for 5-7 mill can’t really say no he might develop better once he’s found a real home aswell

    Seems to be happy here aswell which I couldn’t say when he first signed

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #2


    I think if we could get a proper no 10 and left winger similar in quality to Richie then I think we could be a bit more expansive and open teams up more easily!

    Would make us less predictable as you can switch sides we couldn’t really do that as Dummett and Gouffran would just do the safe pass back to Shelvey or Colback or back to our defence etc

    I personally think this will be a non issue this season if Rafa is backed as the required quality will be purchased

  • expatmag

    May 10, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #3


    Yea. At that price, you cant go wrong. I was impressed with his goals and assists return when you consider the number of appearances he made.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 10, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    Dirty trick, whisking Rafa off in the helicopter, take him on a joy ride, agree to £100m transfer budget (inc all associated costs), and then send a copy of the fuel bill to Rafa with a £20 note enclosed as the budget balance.

    Shafted again!

  • expatmag

    May 10, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #5


    How about spending the majority of our budget, if possible on:

    Shawcross from Stoke
    Fabregas from Chelsea
    Mertens from Napoli

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 10, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #6

    There is a fine line between experience and passed their best. We want to build with experience as if Ashley decides to throw good money at rafa then he will want an investment he can get a return on.

  • Sliema

    May 10, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #7

    I’d sign Atsu up at that price too, that price gets you a squad player in the premiership, just about, and Atsu is already good bought for that, he may get better.

    Rafa, sign gylfi up!!!

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 10, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #8

    I use to like shawcross but I’m not so sure about him now. I’d gamble on him but not for huge money.
    Fabregas would be ideal but can’t see it.
    Dries mertens is a good player I’m not sure if he’s right for us.

    I’m hoping rafa has a comprehensive list that includes some real flare and pace.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #9


    I like all 3 of those players they would all add experience , leadership, quality on the ball and composure which are 3 ingredients that we are missing at the moment!

    Currently we have a team of battlers and hard workers we just need to add that extra bit of quality 3 players like this with a bit more pace and another striker like Javier Hernandez coupled with some cheaper buys like Atsu, Cairney and Robertson would have us looking good this season

    It is exciting to see who we could sign as long as the budget is there Rafa without restrictions on who he can sign we could be in business !

    He apparently wanted Dani Alves, Aguero, Suarez before they were household names but was not allowed finances to get them at the time so he could pull some sick buys out of the bag!

    Also he signed Mertens and Koubilaly for Napoli who are both immense!


    May 10, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #10

    Fingers crossed mate that is what Rafa was after in Jan

    Yeah his numbers are pretty good and I enjoyed watching him just seemed to only perform against poor teams imo but again we’d have to pay more to get better and we are on our backside when it comes to wingers….unless we go with a winger less formation

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Would also like to see us get someone like Aaron Ramsey on loan not getting game time at Arsenal and would be an upgrade on our midfield players

    Although same argument with Delph both are injury prone which is why a loan would be a good idea first


    May 10, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #12

    Not sure Cairney will be a cheap buy mate

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #13


    Yeah actually now that you mention it hes probably going to be priced at 20

    Guess we will find out soon enough!

  • one fine day

    May 10, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #14

    Guess the play offs will be a big factor in caineys price/ availability.
    But of all those mentioned so far he excites me most .

  • hibbit

    May 10, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #15

    i fancy fulham to win the playoffs

    would cairney stay or leave if they go up ???

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 10, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #16

    I wouldn’t mind Ryan Bertrand!


    May 10, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #17

    Aye if Fulham go up it’ll be 30+ and he’s their main man if they don’t….am not that fussed by him tbh he’s alright but not that young and I don’t think he’s played successfully above championship

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #18


    Very good shout! Another player we could have signed no bother before he went to Southampton


    May 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #19

    Not sure we will be competing with top 6 for transfers mate read Bertrand is very much wanted by man city

  • expatmag

    May 10, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #20


    Quality pass to Perez for the last minute winner at Brighton mate

  • Jib

    May 10, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #21

    Yaya Touré is 34 on Saturday.

    He has told an Italian media outlet he is definitely staying in England and that NUFC are the front-runners cos he loves big passionate crowds.

    On a free with reasonable wages even at his age (he’s better than Sissoko or Diamé imo) he’s worth a punt.

    My favourite Yaya story

    “Yaya Touré is a Muslim, once turning down the traditional Man-of-the-Match champagne after a league game against Newcastle United in keeping with his religious beliefs.

    On 13 December 2016, Touré pleaded guilty to drunk driving. He was arrested by police on 28 November after being pulled over and found to be more than twice over the legal driving limit.Touré was fined £54,000 – the largest fine ever for drink-driving – and banned from driving for 18 months !”

  • so-far-king-quick

    May 10, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #22

    Maybe worth taking a punt on john terry, defoe and toure all on a free transfer at least for our first year in the prem dont even have to spend a penny on some quality players. We need at least 1 marquee signing Id love to see someone like insigne or el shaarawy come through the door


    May 10, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #23

    True but his best games have come against poor teams imo and that assist was more about Ritchie haha kicked the ball like it had insulted his mother

  • AncientC

    May 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #24

    Expat, from previous thread, you must have confused Allardyce’s statement. Allardyce specifically said a loan deal was never on the table, in regards to Newcastle. At no point did Allardyce say Townsend wasn’t for sale, he actually implied the opposite.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 10, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #25

    So far,
    No disrespect but are people so far removed from the footballing world that they think JT would move up here to be a bit part player in a quest for mid table stabalisation when there is a chance of zillions in China or a fantasy life in America or after listening to Defoe on TS last night and his special bond with them down the road.

  • Legolas

    May 10, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #26

    Love the banter flying around he we should sign.

    I would love some of them but think we need to be a little more realistic.

    IMHO on some:

    John Terry: no thanks and don’t think he will leave the south.

    Cesc Fabregas: would be a great signing for us but don’t think it would ever happen.

    Yaya Toure: worth a punt for a season if we could pay his wages.

    Personally I would love Gilyfi Siggurson (not sure of spelling), another centre half like maguire from Hull, a winger in the zaha mould who can beat a player like Ginola used to, and a centre forward who will get us 15 + goals.
    Delph on loan may be a good shout to.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    May 10, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #27

    Like all this speculation about transfers –
    who we are going to get.

    Me – I think RAFA’s signings will be totally out of the blue that no-one will of thought of

  • TyneMouth

    May 10, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #28

    A word of caution, talented African players are all very well and good, but remember when the African Cup of Nations comes around you lose them for about six weeks.

    There is also a recovery period after the tournament. Diame was not the same player after his participation early this year.

  • AncientC

    May 10, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #29

    I see magspuggy has been defending Ashley again. This time backing Ashley not to buy Townsend because Ashley pays upfront for players, and buying Townsend back would mean the club was still owed money. It must have eluded him that we still need a LW, and buying a different LW to Townsend equates to the very same financial predicament.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #30

    Thing with Toure is he is a match winner his attacking quality is still immense our team would need to be built around him though you couldn’t have him and Shelvey together in a premiership midfield there would not be enough defensive work rate unless we had a formation change!

    Sigurdsson would be ideal at no 10 though


    May 10, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #31

    Is how u say silly season my friend

    On Terry this summer Man Utd 1 year contract am telling ya. No way he’s going abroad

  • Jib

    May 10, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #32

    Fyenoord had scouted Bertrand extensively and when Koeman took over at Southampton he was one of the first players he signed.

    When Koemman came calling for Bertrand last summer on behalf of Everton the Saints gave him a 5 year contract.

    I wonder if other clubs blogs have posters who say things like “huh we could easily have had that Ayoze Perez before NUFC if we had got our finger out”


    May 10, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #33

    Toure too old too expensive too volatile imo remember his birthday cake melt down

    Bit odd we are linked with lots of Barca boys when Rafa is a Madrid man

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 10, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #34

    milesstarforth local journo just tweeted,
    Understand talks between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley went well. Looking positive

  • expatmag

    May 10, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #35

    Just did a quick run down on our scoring

    We spread the goals around with 15 players contributing plus 3 opposition own goals to a total of 98 for the season. The cup goals are in brackets:

    Ritchie…………..12 (3)
    Perez………………9 (3)
    Gouffran…………5 (1)
    Mitrovic………….4 (2)
    Diame……………..3 (3)
    Own Goals………3


  • Ron Knee

    May 10, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #36


    Great news – if true!

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 10, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #37


    Aye. Rafa will sign someone that’s not been linked or owt. Be a bolt out the blue. Just like last summer

  • G

    May 10, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #38

    With regards to Defoe, allegedly, he can leave Sunderland, as he does have a clause, however, it wouldn’t be on a free, as he still has a year option they can exercise and demand a fee. A tribunal looks likely (assuming the contract details above are true, and not just a rumour), and given that Sunderland were turning away 10M bids in the window, not sure I would spend that much on a man that age regardless of the goals.

  • ToonRich

    May 10, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #39

    I want to see some out of the box names fluttering around! Fed up of seeing Delph, JT, Defoe, even Gylifi is getting boring 😉

    I wonder if BD would loan us Isak!!!

    Oliver Burke would be someone I think could progress under Rafa, suposedley Scotlands answer to Bale!!
    Or Malcom @ Bordeaux??

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 10, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #40

    Ron – indeed, doubt we will get much more info though unless it’s to say rafa has signed long term deal. That’s the info I want to hear because no way will he sign if he’s not guaranteed what he needs to be competitive. I don’t want to here numbers and we won’t but a long term deal is pivotal to the club’s long term future.


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