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Rafa Benitez Ready To Play Hardball At Newcastle

There’s a report in the Chronicle today that Rafa Benitez could keep the three star players who were expected to want to leave Newcastle this summer – Daryl Janmaat, Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko  – unless some massive offers come in.

With Roberto di Matteo taking over at Aston Villa and Garry Monk taking over at Leeds United they have both said their goal is to get promotion to the Premier League next May.

So the competition for Newcastle is mounting and Rafa will want to keep his top players for the season so we can ensure we get one of those two automatic promotion places next May.

rafa benitez aston villa

Rafa Benitez – ready to play hardball

The Chronicle report is that the only thing the Newcastle hierarchy (Benitez and  Charnley?) are thinking of is immediate promotion back to the Premier League and the players who got us relegated are expected to be the ones to put the matter right and get us promoted – at the first attempt.

Given what’s happened that sounds a good direction and a good policy.

As usual with a relegated club there are lots of clubs said to be interested in our top players, because they think they may be able to get a good deal.

That’s what happens when a club gets relegated and if clubs don’t want that to happen they shouldn’t get relegated.

But Newcastle is a little different this time around, because financially we seem to be in a strong position and Rafa has been told he can keep all his top players if that’s what he wants to do.

Janmaat has had a couple of Italian clubs interested in him –  Juventus and Napoli – while Gini Wijnaldum will likely attract a number of clubs with Everton and Southampton said to have watched him score for the Netherlands in their 2-0 win at Austria last night.

Before Benitez agreed to stay on Tyneside he had said Newcastle would consider selling, but only if massive bids were received and that’s been Mike Ashley’s policy when he wants to keep a player at the club.

However, massive bids have come in for some of our top players in the past and we have sold – like Andy Carroll (£35M from Liverpool) and Yohan Cabaye (£20M from PSG).

Those two were generally thought to be good deals in retrospect, but we did not replace the players in the transfers window – and  Rafa will not want to sell a top player he cannot replace this summer.

So if a late massive bid comes in for some of one of our players, we could see them turned down by Benitez, because football is the key now at the club and not money.

The squad is all important now and not the financial state of the club.

After all if we are in the Premier League we get massive amounts of money for finishing high up in the league table and with greater visibility our commercial revenue will also finally rise, especially with a manager like Rafa Benitez now in charge.

So the finances will take care of themselves when we become a top six (top four) club again with match revenues also very high with sold-out home crowds again.

So losing a player like Gini Wijnaldum for big money and not being able  to replace him is the way of the old Newcastle – it’s just not worth it any more.

It will be interesting to see if Rafa allows any of his top players to leave this summer – but we’d be happy enough if he kept them all and brought in say five new players to strengthen the defense and other positions and add at least one new striker up front.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jun 5, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #1

    The thing is, do you want players who are only staying under sufferance? I really think if the likes of Wijnaldum etc. want out, let them go, take the money, replace them with others who are going to give it their all. You can’t afford to carry sulking, half-hearted malcontents in the Championship.

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 5, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #2

    I think the point that has been missed with Armstrong is that he signed when McClaren was head coach. It’s obvious that Rafa as boss changes things dramatically. He seems to have the utmost respect for Rafa and convincing him to stay will be somewhat easier than if the tuft was still in charge.

    I also think they probably gambled on us staying up when agreeing to the release clause as they were arrogantly dismissive about even the possibility of relegation right up until they had to bring Rafa in.

    The local papers are reporting 13m as the release clause figure maybe to help the club save face but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had agreed to 8m as they were so adamant that relegation wasn’t an issue.

  • hibbitt

    Jun 5, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #3


    Armstrong 13 m ???

    bobbybee will be on your case very soon

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 5, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #4

    To right rafa should be playing hardball. If wijnaldum or sissoko want to leave, they should realise they played a part in the club been relegated, to fix there own problem there sayin I want to move. But thata not going to fix the club or the fans problem.

    If I was rafa I’d be saying I want 15 million for each, & if that offer doesn’t come in, you both have a big debt to this club.

    Also I believe Janmaat wants to stay & fight to bring us back to premiership football, problem is the interest he’s attracting from other clubs.

  • lesh

    Jun 5, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #5


    If any of Gini, Janmaat, Sissoko, Townsend or any player want out, they should be told to submit a transfer request. That would at least deny them any cut of their transfer fee.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 5, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #6

    no wonder betty’s judgment on players is so bad. I think I at least know armstrong isnt townsend


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