The reports in the local papers have detailed precisely what Rafa is looking for at Newcastle if he is to stay on Tyneside.
He wants the club to agree to infrastructure improvements such as at the Benton Training grounds, and he wants to overhaul the Youth Academy.
These are things that will take time, but they will soon bear fruit.
So Rafa is thinking long-term at Newcastle.
One problem with Ashley said to wants to sell the club is the owner is not thinking long term.
Rafa also wants more control of things like transfers and wants to be able to use the transfer finds in each window as he sees fit.
A lot of water has passed under the Tyne Bridge since this picture taken a year ago
So if he wants to blow £50M on one player, he can do that.
Rafa wants to work with Lee Charnley on the transfers after the disaster that happened in last summer’s transfer window which left Rafa fuming.
This is some of what Rafa has said as reported in today’s Chronicle;
“It is not the next step it is the same idea. In the modern football, you have to improve the Academy because the money, everyone is so expensive you have to bring your own players.”
“That is not the next step. It is a step. You have to improve the first team unless you want to be anxious, and to avoid the relegation every year.”
“It is to do the right things in the Academy, the training ground, and do the right things, signings and sellings in the first team.”
“It is always the step.”
“The question is what we can achieve. This club has to be in the top ten. How? We have to do a lot of things right and to start making the right decisions now.”
“My job as a coach was to improve anything around me and try to win. Be consistent,”
“I didn’t realize when I first came to England how good you can be as a manager.”
“In Spain three months as a coach, then you can be out. No one is thinking in 22, or six or ten years.”
“In England, you can have the idea, keep improving and have a proper project, not a project for the press, but a proper one.”
The problem here is that with Rafa having more control of things the owner Mike Ashley will have less.
And with a person like Ashley, it may be tough to give up any level of control.
So the disaster scenario is the owner will not agree to Rafa’s proposals and the Mirror today is reporting the talks are not progressing well.
Ashley has said he wants to sell the club so maybe Rafa will stay the final year of his contract if he cannot reach an agreement this summer?
He will then hope new owners will come in over the next 12 months – although at a price of £400M for Newcastle – that’s unlikely.
But we have to start thinking that Mike Ashley could actually screw this thing up – however difficult that may be.
But that’s Mike Ashley for you.