The Northern Echo today are reporting the deadlock between Rafa Benitez and owner Mike Ashley about the manager’s new contract is still going on with Rafa Benitez having only 13 days left on his contract.
There’s supposedly a deal on the table for Rafa to sign but he’s unlikely to want to sign it.
The Bin Zayed Group are said to be progressing well in their bid to buy Newcastle for £350M and they hope to close the deal by the end of June.
There was another report in the Sun yesterday from Justin Allen, the reporter who broke the takeover story exactly three weeks ago.
And the Sheikh Khaled story has not changed in those two weeks and they want Rafa as their new manager and will give him significant funds to spend this summer.
They hope to close the deal by the end of this month.
If all this is true then it doesn’t matter whether Rafa signs the new deal for Ashley or not.
In fact, we don’t think he will sign the deal.
Then the question is what happens if the takeover is not complete by the end of June when Rafa could become a free agent.
This terrible situation at Newcastle hinges on the club being sold – and presumably to Sheikh Khaled – and quickly too.
But Ashley is the wild card here – he could try to slow the deal down since past experience has shown he’s a difficult man to deal with.
And the local papers’ response to the Sun story yesterday was to say that Ashley is still talking to two other potential buyers.
The longer this goes the worse it will be for Newcastle and not a rod about the takeover from Newcastle in a long three weeks..
And we also know Ashley doesn’t care at all for Newcastle or the fans.
He wants is the £350M for the club – but as we said he can do strange and illogical things at any time.
That’s the worry about this current situation – Mike Ashey.