Benitez was extremely diplomatic in yesterdays press conference and was asked several times about his contract situation, but he said the time was not to talk about that.
He stressed that now was the time to focus on football and there will be time later to talk about a new contract – if that is necessarButem>
But he also said several times that he was happy at Newcastle – and that was the good news.
That’s even after four successive and rather brutal transfer windows, where he doesn’t seem to have been supported financially by Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez – happy at the end of last season
But we have got seven good, experienced players through the door and we have a better team now than last year.
But Rafa wanted much more of course.
This is some of what Rafa said yesterday starting with the scouting for January:
“It is my responsibility to make sure we move forward and we focus on football but that does not mean I will not have conversations with Lee,”
“When a window is finished you start working on the next one. The scouts were doing a great job, they have some days to relax then they must start working again, thinking about the next window.”
“I talk with Lee every day so it is no problem to have to speak to Ashley.”
“It is not the right time to talk about that (new contract). I am happy here,”
“I want to be sure that we can compete. We start the Premier League on Saturday. That is it.”
“It is very clear we have to do things in a way that we have to do things.”
“It will be easy for everyone to achieve what we want to achieve on the pitch and outside the pitch.”
‘I have some experience, I have to try to do my best.”
“But you have to focus on football. The fans were expecting Rafa to be upset and fight, but my message is very clear.”
“My responsibility is to be sure we have no excuses not to perform on the pitch. We have finished the transfer window, so now we have to bring the best from our players.”
“I have to concentrate on that.”
“We have time to do things and I don’t need to explain at every Press conference that we [the hierarchy and myself] have talked (about hos contract).”
“We know now is the time to relax a little bit and concentrate on the games. Then we have plenty of time to talk about that.”
“Just let me enjoy the game against Tottenham.”
The longer this season goes without Rafa signing a new contract, the more likely it will be that he will become a free agent in the summer.
Some big, ambitious club in England will come in and offer him what he wants – but it’s unlikely to be one of the top six clubs.
We will finish by saying the obvious – that we hope Rafa signs a new deal as soon as possible.
But we doubt that will happen.