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Newcastle Hierarchy Embarrassment – No Wonder Rafa Unwilling To Sign New Deal

News in the Chronicle today that Spanish U21 international is about to leave Newcastle to join Real Sociedad for the release fee in his contract of about £10M.

Newcastle only signed the player last summer from Borussia Dortmund and paid around £7M for him.

And of course, he is much improved after one year one Tyneside under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez.

This is not a good development for the club and puts the Newcastle hierarchy in a bad light because there is nothing we can do about losing one of our best young players.

Rafa Benitez looks puzzled – what’s going on?

It would have been a little different if he has left for say £20M to give Newcastle some profit.

We are supposed to be improving the squad this summer, but as things stand, we have lost an outstanding young player.

And it seems the deal will be completed this week so Merino will not be reporting back for training next Monday.

It also reflects on the player himself that he was not prepared to fight for his place at Newcastle and instead wanted to be guaranteed first team playing time next season.

This will bring a little more negativity to Newcastle fans who are getting frustrated at the Newcastle hierarchy moving at a snail’s pace.

As per usual.

Something has to change the way Newcastle do transfers.

What we need are a couple of good signings this week because this is looking as bad or even worse than the calamitous transfer window last summer when Newcastle looked incompetent.

We shouldn’t overreact (it’s hard not to) but what are Newcastle doing this summer with transfers?

This was meant to be a test transfer window to see if Newcastle could get the job done so Rafa would sign a new long-term deal.

We cannot imagine Rafa is very pleased with what’s happened so far in the summer transfer window.

No wonder he’s not signing a new contract.

We hope that Mike Ashley will sell the club, but that looks extremely doubtful now – even in the longer term.

Not a good start to this Tuesday morning.

The good news is things have to get better.

That’s true, isn’t it?


Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Ben Afri

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #1

    Aren’t we waiting for the TV Deals to come through before we put in any bids for new players? And aren’t we waiting for potential signings to return from international duties? I get it…I’m a little jaded too and to be honest, I don’t expect things to be great this transfer window, but shouldn’t we wait to see what happens before everything becomes doom and gloom?

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #2

    “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
    A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)”

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #3

    Ban Afri, both those things have been rumoured, yes.

    It’s so hard to know with the wall of silence emanating from the club.

    Agreed, though – we can only judge the merits of any process once that process is concluded, including this and any other transfer window.

    I still want some news, though…. Something, anything…

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #4

    The “waiting for the money in the bank” is just a ready made excuse for the club to drag it’s feet as it’s always done.

    Plenty other clubs have bought

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #5

    Jeez, Jib – if nothing else, that article you posted shows just how bored the journalists are with this transfer window – the first letter of every paragraph spells out ‘Mikel’

    I thought only primary school kids did that…


  • Ben Afri

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #6

    Yeah, that’s true. It really is hard to know anything at this point. Which, as you pointed out, only exacerbates our frustration. You’re right, I’d like to know at least SOMETHING! Hopefully it’s just the club keeping their cards close to their chest, and not Charnly struggling to get signings over the line

  • hibbit

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #7

    clubs waiting for the sky money is not just a newcastle problem,
    it’s affecting the whole market for both buying and selling clubs

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #8

    OP, not sure you can describe the Club as using this as an excuse for dragging it’s feet. It’s a well-established practice for NUFC under Ashley to not spend money it hasn’t got.

    As such, it’s not an excuse but a policy.

    Whether it’s the right policy or not is an entirely different matter.

  • Sav

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #9

    With our gift fone incompetence, I’d say Charnley insisted upon inserting the release clause. Nice one, Lee. What was Ashley’s shady lawyer lieutenant doing while the lowest paid CEO in the Prem was busy screwing up I wonder? Rafa must despair of this farce. Most of us did years ago.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #10

    I saw a well-to-do man in Newcastle years ago haggling over the busfare. He held the bus up five minutes while he tried to get the price down. Obviously the driver wanted the full fare so eventually the man left empty handed and presumably walked. I’m trying to remember if the man looked like a young Penfold.

  • lesh

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #11

    I’d speculate that this window’ll be a disaster in that Ashley’s playing power games with Rafa who’s said to have not even been given a budget to work to.

    Ok, maybe Rafa going public with his expectations of Ashley committing to the same vision for the club may have got Ashley’s back up but one would have expected an owner with the club’s interests at heart would’ve at least try to give Rafa some suggestion of wanting to build on last season. It appears that Ashley’s vision is frustrating Rafa and trying his damnedest to be rid of him.

    His timing for playing his games couldn’t be better – summer, a set of accounts manipulated to show a massive loss, the World Cup to distract attention and a fan base that seems content to put up with whatever chit he throws their way. Add to his contempt for fans who invest a lot of money in the club, the fact that he’s foisted season ticket price increases on them, increases announced without the courtesy of an explanation or purpose such as funding the developments Rafa’s looking for.

    We can but hope that talks are ok going and we can hope to hear that Ashley’s sold up and sods off.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #12


    The club also doesn’t spend the money it has either!

    We didn’t all of a sudden get paid £85m for McLaren to spend.

    All of Ashley practices at Nufc are designed to frustrate and complicate transfers, you’d think he didn’t want to spend money.

  • lesh

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #13

    The next Mike Williamson

    If it had been Charnley haggling over the bus fare, Ashley would’ve had the wheels off the bus – the haggling being a distraction!

  • Geordie-john

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #14

    Hey Ashley , Why don’t you pay heed to what supporters and dedicated fans are trying to tell you instead you saying the Same old shit every window now. I thought that you were supposed to be good in business ? When have we seen this happen in the last 11 years ? We have a Fantastic Manager in Rafa and we have a healthy amount of money due if not already received, This never stopped the likes of Freddy or Sir John, So why is it happening now ? If you are supposed to be waiting for the cash coming in then why not a short term loan ? Why run the chance of losing good quality targets that Rafa & Co have spent time identifying and following for another team to just jump in and steal every window ? Also the chance of losing Rafa which is looking more and more probable as the days are rolling on.
    Why not take your finger out of your arse and back the team, Club and especially the Manager get their players and eventually NUFC will become more successful and worth more money and you will probably get your healthy profit if you still want to sell. You cannot be right in the head if you expect this to go on and on running the club on a shoe string and promising things that are never gonna happen.
    Do the right thing now !

  • lesh

    Jun 26, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15


    You’ll bear in mind that the last published accounts cover 2016-2017 and they included a large provision for wages which paints a picture bleaker than it really is.

    A cynic might suggest that the large reported paper loss might be used as an excuse to hide behind FFP rules when restricting spend. Not me though, I have faith in everything Ashley’s doing for the club and it’s fans.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #16

    A bit slow on this news Ed we were all fuming over this yesterday.


    Jun 28, 2018 at 2:20 AM

    Comment #17

    Only an idiot would sign a young player for 7 mil & hope to develop him into a mature first team player & put such a small release fee on him. Think that sums up the deadly duo that run Newcastle


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