Newcastle United hope to reach an agreement with Rafa Benitez and his advisors within two weeks and tie Rafa down to at least three more years on Tyneside.
Now that we are safe and have one game each weekend for the next four weeks to the end of the season on Sunday, 12th May – there should be ample time to negotiate with the manager and hopefully reach an agreement.
Lee Charnley, as usual, will be representing the owner in the talks and hopefully, an agreement can be reached sooner rather than later.
According to his good friend Guillem Balague, Rafa has already turned down two massive financial offers to manage in Saudi Arabia and China – and either one of them would have made him one of the world’s highest-paid managers.
He will not be that if he signs for Newcastle although Ashley is likely to offer him a wage to makes him one of the six best-paid managers in the Premier League.
Rafa’s wages have never been a problem.
The problem that Rafa has is he sees no ambition coming from the owner and no particular desire to spend money to improve the training grounds and other things that need to be quickly improved at the club.
Newcastle are the only Premier League club talking to Benitez at the moment and Rafa has said he wants to manage for at least another ten years.
And with another owner, it may have been possible to sign him up for five years or even more, but it looks like three years is all that’s possible with Mike Ashley the owner.
The primary requirement from Benitez is to have a quicker and more streamlined process to sign players in the transfer window, with Rafa also being given more authority with transfers.
He also wants to be able to sign older players when it makes football sense – like in the case right now with 29-year-old Salomon Rondon.
It appears that Mike Ashley has already agreed to more investment in the Youth and U23 setups so Rafa can start to bring more youngsters through to the first team.
Sean Longstaff is an excellent example of how we could have a top player coming through the ranks.
This is what Rafa reminded people last Friday about the potential that is Newcastle United:
“We have to have a team who can compete.”
“This city, the club has potential. It’s massive. I’m not looking to spend £200M, but doing the right things.”
“You can do everything right with your tactics, but the other team has one player that can make the difference.”
Rafa believes it will not necessarily take huge money to build on what he has already put in place over the last couple of years.
We could potentially get a couple of bargains every summer – like we did with Schar, Ki, and Fernandez last summer – the three together cost £9M in transfer fees.
That comes as a possibility with Rafa having so many contacts around the world and players wanting to play for him.
It will be very welcome news to fans if Rafa does sign a new deal – but Mike Ashley has to show some ambition to match Rafa’s or else sell the club.
Success will be hard to achieve as long as we have the same owner in place.