Other Clubs Already Making Moves To Sign Rafa Benitez

There was a report in the Italian daily newspaper Il Mattino yesterday that Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis called Rafa this week to discuss his future.

It seems the owner wants him to return to Napoli as the head coach should the current head coach Maurizio Sarri move to Chelsea this summer.

Rafa had a good two years at Napoli from 2013 when he managed the club for 112 games for a win ratio of 52.7% before he left the club and was then signed by Real Madrid in June 2015.

Rafa Benitez – already in demand

The report is that Rafa was not expecting the call from Aurelio de Laurentiis and was said to be “perplexed.”

Other words that come to mind with perplexed are confused and bewildered.

Here’s a piece from the Il Mattino report:

“Benitez did not expect the call and was very perplexed.” “He did not say no, but he did not even say yes.”

“On the other hand, the reasons why he went away from Naples are still all intact.”

“The sports center was not there and it is not there, the structures are the same since then and so on.”

One reason Rafa has liked it at Newcastle is that he is close to his wife and two daughters in the Wirral, but it’s interesting Rafa didn’t immediately turn down the idea of returning to Naples.

Leicester City are also said to be interested in Rafa joining them this summer, when and if they fire former Southampton manager Claude Puel.

The Chronicle are reporting the link to Leicester is probably because their current head of recruitment is his close friend Eduardo Macia, who was once the Technical Director at Valencia.

That’s when Rafa was the head coach there from 2001 through 20014 when he joined Liverpool.

We also have to think that West Ham will likely make a move for Rafa in the summer since it’s very doubtful David Moyes will stay at the Hammers when his six-month contract ends this summer.

We hope that Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley moved quickly to get Rafa signed up and it doesn’t go on for weeks and weeks – like most negotiations at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 1, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #1

    Is this prep for saying we wanted Rafa to stay but can’t compete with Napoli etc.

    The summer window opens in two weeks the club is safe but there doesn’t seem to be much going on regarding a sale of the club.

    It’s going to be a very busy and stresful few months for fans and the manager.

    Someone buy the club off the slugg ffs
    and let my blood pressure level off.

  • Jib

    May 1, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #2

    Other words that come to mind with perplexed are confused and bewildered.
    how about
    bewitched and bothered ?

  • DubaiMicky

    May 1, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #3

    As i said yesterday, Rafa isn’t going anywhere provided he gets what he realistically wants (and that’s not a £200m war chest).

    I would hope the contract extension has been signed by the Chelsea game.

  • AncientC

    May 1, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #4

    From 2015:

    ‘Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that Rafael Benitez wanted to sign Leandro Damiao ahead of Gonzalo Higuain.’

    Laurentiis: “”Benitez wanted to take Leandro Damiao, but after meeting with the Brazilian’s agent we had doubts.

    “So I flew to Madrid to find out if it would be possible to get Pipita [Higuain]. Then I met his father and we got the deal done.”

    Benitez will not have been happy about that one, yet still, having a 90 million Euro striker foisted upon you is a different world to being able to select your own players, but having a budget that allows for Joselu.

    I had always thought Benitez would leave at the end of this season, but after that 4 game winning streak, I figured he would want to stay. Now with Napoli knocking, I am not so sure one again.

    If I am not mistaken, it was reported somewhere that there is a loophole in Benitez’ contract and he can leave of his own volition, during a certain period over the summer.

  • DubaiMicky

    May 1, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #5

    if I recall Ancient, it’s to do with the severance, after 2 years of the three year contract no severance is needed to be paid in either direction. If i recall it was bandied around that it was/is £5m. Think it’s June his 2 year anniversary?

  • Jib

    May 1, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #6

    May 2015
    Napoli now have very few chances of snatching a Champions League spot after their humiliating 3-1 defeat to Juventus.
    The loss in Turin was devastating, as it came against a second-string Juve side with nothing to play for but pride.
    Top scorer Higuain was substituted at half-time and by all accounts was not suffering from an injury, so it was purely a technical decision by Benitez.
    There are reports of a blazing row in the locker room during the break, while Higuain was nowhere to be seen after his surprise substitution, so did not watch the rest of the game in the stands.
    Pipita’s attitude on the pitch has increasingly irritated fans and team-mates, as he continually complains about not getting service and wasted golden opportunities in the Europa League semi-final with Dnipro.
    With the Champions League out of the picture and jeers from fans when he came on against Cesena last week, it is very likely Higuain will be sold this summer.
    President De Laurentiis was so angry at the collapse of his team that he’s tempted to sack Benitez.
    The Coach is 99 per cent likely to leave when his contract expires next month anyway, amid reports he has offers lined up at Real Madrid, West Ham and maybe even Liverpool.
    ADL would prefer the satisfaction of firing Rafa after months of refusing to discuss his contract renewal or commit to a future project.

    I don’t think Rafa will rush back there in a hurry

  • DaveD1000

    May 1, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #7

    Yes I remember reading that Micky tho for the life of me I can’t remember where

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 1, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #8

    “The sports center was not there and it is not there, the structures are the same since then and so on.”

    Bit of a worry. That’s why he left, and what we haven’t got, and what he wants built.

    Give him his new training complex and upgraded academy Mike Ashley. It’s a solid investment and you’re worth 3 billion quid for crize-ache. I’m sure you can raise the money without breaking stride. He’s almost single handedly put 100 million quid into your pocket in the last two months, and he’s one of the finest managers in the world, and he’s committed to making the club great again. Let’s get this show on the road pal.

  • AncientC

    May 1, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Micky, yes, that must have been it. £5 million probably wouldn’t put Napoli off anyway. Napoli is a big job to knock back… the risk of losing Benitez is very real now.

  • magscar

    May 1, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #10

    I doubt Rafa would be interested as long as his pet project can be sustained. Won’t harm his contract negotiations of course 🙂

  • Geordie-john

    May 1, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #11

    Listed Ashley ! You need to get your fat arse into gear and get Rafa a good deal so he stay with us and earn you money or increase the value of the club so you can sell it on. Either way F###ing HURRY UP !

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 1, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #12

    If Rafa goes I think there will be a sense of hopelessness that will envelope the club. If we are left to Bishop, Barnes and Churnley to run the show then what hope do we have.

  • martoon

    May 1, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #13

    Didn’t Rafa himself say that negotiations about his new contract etc.had started and were continuing this week? So hopefully we’ll know more soon – personally I tend to believe Rafa rather than random stories in Newspapers. 😉

  • RobLeenio

    May 1, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #14

    Rafa has continually surprised, first by coming in the first place, second by sticking around post-relegation, third by not leaving after being shafted in three consecutive transfer windows.

    He evidently wants to be here but surely even his patience is not inexhaustible. Lets hope the second round of negotiations will be fruitful this week and we can get some movement quickly.

  • Tsunki

    May 1, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #15

    Its difficult to imagine Ashley having enough lives to survive compromising Rafa’s position to the point where he leaves. He would have to get someone of equal value in but less ambitious. Bon chance with that.

  • RobLeenio

    May 1, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #16

    Here’s how I imagine the negotiations will progress:
    Round 1 (last week) – setting out of position from Rafa.
    Round 2 (this week) – initial offer from club, clarification questions asked
    Round 3 (next week) – contract signed (or not)

    Just guessing here, but it seems like a reasonable timetable. Maybe I’m being naive

  • Little h

    May 1, 2018 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #17

    If rafa does leave i cant see it being for napoli

  • RobLeenio

    May 1, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #18

    Little h, I can’t see him moving abroad full stop. He’s said numerous times it’s his preference to be close to his family. But yes, from the sentiment on here today it seems particularly unlikely he would go back to Napoli.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 1, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #19

    Why would Ashley not want to build a new training facility or upgrade the academy or give Rafa all the profit the club makes so he can put better assets on the pitch? Each has the very real capacity to add great value to his unique and remarkable asset, and together would keep Rafa in situ at Newcastle, like Wenger at Arsenal, and Ferguson at Utd before him. Why with a net value of 3 billion quid, and with the exposure he gets for SD would he not want to do that? I can’t think of a single reason.

  • RobLeenio

    May 1, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #20

    Nicky, you can’t think of a single reason because, and I’m very grateful for this, you are not Mike Ashley and you therefore do not know how his mind works.

    Logic and the chubby one are not easy bedfellows. Is it a no brainer to invest in the squad? Does a successful club need state of the art training facilities? Should all of the commercial revenue of a club belong to that club, rather than being siphoned off elsewhere?

    The answer to every one of the above is undoubtedly yes. I’m not sure that Ashley would agree.

  • hibbit

    May 1, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #21

    even the thought of Rafa leaving sends a shiver down my spine
    the consequences of any such decision would be catastrophic for the fans the city and the club

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 1, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #22

    I think he has been reluctant in the past because he was concerned about doing his dough, and frankly without someone of the calibre of Rafa in place I can understand it. But with Rafa, and to keep Rafa, surely it is a no brainer.

  • dig-n-dig22

    May 1, 2018 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #23

    Rafa holds all the cards, he has done his job, gained promotion and we are assured premiership football next season and in a good position to kick on and slug it out next season with the top 6 if Ashley invests, If he won’t , then why should Rafa stay?

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 1, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #24

    I can also understand why he might not have wanted to over commit this season, knowing that it wouldn’t have guaranteed we stay up, and that we would need to be financially stable enough to give ourselves the best possible chance to come straight back again if we were to take the drop. But now, having consolidated our epl place, I see no reason at all. Give him what he wants, and give him a long contract to be sure he stays to complete the task. He’s not asking for anything that doesn’t make good sound financial sense.

  • widowmagandapoke

    May 1, 2018 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #25

    Leicester change managers as soon as there is a wobble. Why would Rafa, in a month of Sunday’s even remotely consider going there?


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