It’s a Sunday so more local news on Rafa’s situation at Newcastle and whether he will stay at the club.
There’s a piece in the Chronicle today, and the Newcastle hierarchy have recently made it clear that they want Rafa to stay at the club and they are not even pursuing any other manager for the job.
They realize Newcastle are not safe in the league yet, but once that status is attained Mike Ashley is keen to get Rafa signed up before the end of the season.
Fans are getting a little anxious that it will be April tomorrow and Rafa is still free to leave in the summer.
Managing Director Lee Charnley has agreed the wages with Rafa which are thought to be generous.
And he has told the manager directly the club hierarchy (and the fans) appreciate the work he has done for the club over the last three years and they want him to stay and sign quickly once Newcastle are safe for next season.
Rafa still wants assurances from Ashley, but the owner has had plenty of time to think on those and once there is a meeting they are hoping an agreement can be reached quickly.
The areas of agreement that have to be reached are with transfer funds, youth development and significant improvements to the training facilities at the club.
Ashley has already agreed that Rafa can fill three new positions for the Youth Academy and help to bring young players like Sean Longstaff (as an example this season) through to the first team.
Rafa seems to have taken in his stride the pending tour of China, and while he prefers to go back to Ireland this summer for preseason, he also knows it’s an important tour for the Newcastle United club.
Rafa also seemed positive during his Friday press conference and didn’t sound like a man who wants to leave Newcastle or is thinking of ending his tenure in the summer.
But he’s still not signed up for the future.
But it does appear from the local press reports that the club are now confident one of the world’s top managers will agree to stay on at Newcastle.
That would be fantastic.
Now we need to get something at Arsenal on Monday night.