There’s a report in the Times today from top reporter George Caulkin that Rafa Benitez is still waiting for a response from Mike Ashley.
This mirrors what Rafa has said today in Marca – the Madrid based Spanish outlet today.
It’s now three weeks since Rafa submitted his conditions to stay at Newcastle – after being asked to do so by the club’s hierarchy. – make that Mike Ashley.
The manager expected these conditions to become the basis for discussions on his new contract, but seemingly things have not moved forward much at all these past few weeks.
Rafa, however, says he is still talking with the club – that will be with Lee Charnley – but why does it take so long for this Ashley-led Newcastle to get anything done?
Rafa Benitez in his element – on the training pitch
Most clubs would be jumping at the chance to sign Rafa to a new long-term deal but not Newcastle under owner Mike Ashley.
The worry is that it’s clear that where Rafa wants to take the club – higher up the Premier League and challenge for trophies – doesn’t match the ambitions of the Newcastle owner.
If Ashley had ambitions for Newcastle, we wouldn’t have been continually fighting relegation during his long 12-year tenure as owner.
Even if Rafa signs on for the next three years, his future will remain in doubt as long as Ashley owns the club.
There are new reports today that several other bidders looked at Newcastle late last year, but the worrying thing about that is they walked away.
Ashley is asking too much for the club which is one reason it hasn’t sold, and his price for Newcastle will remain high.
Even if Rafa signs on for another three years, things may only marginally improve next season.
What do you think?