Mike Ashley will not try to get Rafa Benitez to sign a new deal to stay at Newcastle past June when his current three-year contract runs out.
Ashley had offered Rafa a new deal in the summer for five years, but Rafa didn’t want to sing it until he had some assurances from the owner on some things.
As far as we know Ashley is still not willing to acquiesce to those demands from the manager.
And apparently, he only agreed to bring in Almiron and Barreca at the last month last Thursday after much persuading – maybe from Charley and some comments that Rafa has reportedly made.
If that’s true, that’s not particularly good news.
Newcastle fans just love Rafa for what he’s doing for Newcastle United
Over the last year or two this is what Rafa has wanted from the owner:
- More drive and ambition needed in the transfer market and create a new process so deals can be completed much more quickly
- Be able to spend the transfer funds allocated as he sees fit, and is willing to be held accountable for the transfers in and out of the club
- Needs Ashley to commit to spending more of the club’s money on new players in the transfer windows – especially in the coming summer transfer window
- Be able to concentrate on bringing more players like Dummett and Longstaff through the Youth Academy, and he will need investment to do that as well as revamp the scouting area – and both initiatives will save the club money in the long term
- Wants the training fields at Benton improved and needs Ashley to invest funds in bringing the grounds up to par with the top six clubs in England
Of those five general requirements, we think Rafa would be happy if he can get the first three agreed by Ashley and then work on the other two becasue they are longer-term things.
Improving the team has to be the highest priority becasue once we are up there challenging for a top eight or top six position success breeds success.
And hopefully, we will have a strong enough squad to be able to compete in each of the two local Cup competitions.
So it would take Mike Ashley much to agree to some of Rafa’s demands, but he is stubborn and doesn’t seem to want to give up any financial control of the club.
On the positive side, we’re sure Rafa loves training the team and stuff like that which he just loves, and the personal relationship between Rafa and Ashley is probably a lot better than fans think.
Benitez is given a completely free reign on the training and team selection, and that’s something he didn’t get at other clubs he’s managed like Inter-Milan and Real Madrid.
The fans are also fully supportive and appreciative of everything Rafa does at Newcastle.
That wasn’t the case at Inter or Real – or at Chelsea.
This is what Rafa said recently about the upcoming talks with Ashley:
“I will talk about what we have done.”
“We signed two players in two positions that we needed. I think every single fan knew that we needed two players.”
“They knew that we needed a left full-back and a No 10. So we signed two players in these positions.”
“Now we are a little bit better than we were before because we can manage, we can create competition and if we have to change something, we can.”
There’s a lot of positives going for Rafa at the moment – only Mike Ashley can stop the progress being made and even force Rafa out of the club, which is still possible.
Let’s hope the owner is a lot flexible and willing to agree to most of Rafa’s demands.
What do you think?