This is precisely what we didn’t want to happen in the negotiations with the manager on a new contract.
With Mike Ashley keeping mum on what’s happening and Rafa not getting any answers back from Mike Ashley for over three weeks – it seems that Rafa has issued what amounts to an ultimatum.
There are reports – one in the Northern Echo – that Rafa is now ready to leave Newcastle if his demands are not met by the owner.
First of all, we are assuming the news is accurate.
There is an impasse at the moment, and this is not good for Rafa if it turns out the Mike Ashley will not back him, because then he will need to get another management job rather quickly.
Some insiders are suggesting it will be difficult for Rafa to walk away from Newcastle because of the fans’ support and the fact he seems to love working on Tyneside.
Rafa Benitez – wants some answers
Sources close to Rafa and his representatives say that’s just not true and while Rafa is keen to reach a deal with the Newcastle hierarchy, he will move elsewhere if he cannot get the deal he needs on Tyneside.
Contract negotiations have been going on for a long time now, and push has come to shove for Mike Ashley who has to tell Rafa specifically if he will support the changes he wants to see at Newcastle if the manager stays.
The dossier that Rafa was asked to submit before the game at Arsenal is believed to contain what Rafa has been asking for – for over a year now.
He wants decent transfer funds in each transfer window, wants to overhaul the Youth and U23 systems, wants significant improvement made in the training grounds at Benton and finally wants an improved and more streamlined transfer process.
He also wants more control on which players he can sign and wants to use the transfer funds according to what he wants to do to build the team – and not what Ashley wants to do.
Rafa also wants to retain players who are 30 – if he sees fit.
This is causing some tension now with players like Salomon Rondon, Mo Diame and even Matt Ritchie close to 30 but they some of Newcastle’s best players.
It will be difficult for Rafa to walk away from Newcastle, but this points to the big problem we have at Newcastle.
In two words it’s Mike Ashley and challenging for anybody to work with the billionaire because you just don’t know what he’s thinking and what he will do next.
His communication skills have always been inadequate, and Ashley and Rafa need to speak one-on-one very soon – before the negotiations collapse.
We think Rafa can walk away from Newcastle and then the club will be dead in the water.
What do you think?