We should probably not be too surprised that Newcastle are taking so long to tie up Rafa Benitez to a new contract.
And there is a chance – a slight chance – that he could still walk away from the club, and yes – there’s some hope in that statement that he won’t do that.
If he does leave, then he knows he’ll break the hearts of Newcastle fans everywhere.
But it’s not too big of a surprise the way Newcastle (Ashley and Charnley) are handling the talks, which just happen to be vital to Newcastle’s future.
The two men have never ever been accused of moving quickly in the transfer market, for example.
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley find it difficult to watch Newcastle
We waited three months to sign Florian Lejeune a couple of years ago after the player and his club waited for a deal with Newcastle to be finally agreed.
According to the Spanish media, Newcastle went into all kinds of low-level detail during the transfer discussions, and that surprised his club Eibar.
And it was in the summer of 2012 when we finished 5th in the league that we tried to sign French right-back Mathieu Debuchy but couldn’t agree on a fee with his club Lille.
We were in trouble in the league by the end of 2012 because our squad was not big enough to also play in the Europa Cup and Newcastle signed him up early in January.
The hierarchy seem to be willing to wait and wait and then wait some more – because there’s a (slight?) chance we may get a better deal.
Sometimes that may be necessary, but Newcastle do it far too much.
With Rafa, it’s now clear that Mike Ashley doesn’t want to give in to at least some of the manager’s demands.
The danger is Rafa could become so frustrated with Ashley’s antics and lack of communication that he decides he cannot work for the owner any longer.
That would not be good.