“Rafa Benitez will NOT sign a new contract this summer” – Why would he?

We had a form of break through recently with West Ham unable to poach Rafa from Newcastle and it being reported that the Spaniard has committed to being at Newcastle next season. However, he stopped short of signing  a new deal, with the just 12 months left on his current contract.
 
Some may wonder just why he didn’t sign a new deal if ‘positive talks’ had led to him committing himself to the club for next season, but he’s a wise man and knows exactly what he’s doing.
 
Rafa is a master politician and knows once he sings his leverage also goes with Ashley, so is wisely using the contract to get the reassurances he wants in place before he commits. He wants to sign, but he’ll use this summer and next January as a test – ‘show me you’re capable and willing to match my ambitions over the next two windows and then i’ll sign’. Why would he commit to a new deal before he’s seen first hand whether Ashley will deliver on his ‘promises’? After all, what Ashley says he’ll do and what he actually does are often two very different things, so Rafa’s bound to demand proof before he makes the same mistake again. Once bitten, twice as shy..
 
So, with this in mind, what will be the priorities for Rafa before he considers a news deal?

Will they match his ambition?

This is the biggest sticking point – Rafa wants to win trophies and Ashley wants to stay up, spend as little as possible and continue to use NUFC as a vehicle to promote Sports Direct.  There needs to be some intent from Ashley to do something with the club or sell up – and Rafa is forcing him to do one of them. Even Ashley must know it would be toxic to a whole new level if he let Rafa walk away. He back McClaren with cash  – so why not do the same for a genuine, world class manager?
 
If you have some free time, watch an interview Sky Sports La Liga expert Guillem Balague did with Rafa on his YouTube channel. It is an hour long but near the end he covers NUFC and Rafa tellingly says it is always easy to agree salary and contracts with him, deals are held up when he wants the club to back him in making things more professional – the academy, growth for the future and a commitment to wanting to win trophies. The ball is firmly in Ashley’s court.

Will we sign a proper striker?

After a frustrating last few windows, Rafa bailed us out with two shrewd loan moves in Kenedy and Dubravka last January to fire us to a top half finish. However, with TV money now secured again  – he will want a quality striker and not on loan. He is always linked to us but if we did manage to get someone of the ilk of Bas Dost this summer it would be a real signal of intent to Rafa that we mean business and that his future lies here for the longer term.
 
Rafa will also be keen to ensure we do these type of deals quicker. We lost out on the likes of Caballero, Loftus Cheek and Abraham last summer as we dragged our heels. Ashley needs to lay the budget out clearly and let Rafa get on with it – and now.

Can we even compete to sign Kenedy?

Fresh speculation has surfaced claiming German side RB Leipzig are now also keen on the Brazilian, along with Arsenal and PSG. He seems open to returning, but a move is looking more and more unlikely for us based on his likely cost and those big guns interested.
 
Regardless of where he ends up gong, it will be telling for Rafa to see the club even compete to sign a player of his quality and potential price tag. That will at least be a sign for Benitez that finances/ a show of ambition are in place this summer. If we weren’t able to sign him or bring him back on loan, there’d be another big whole to fill out wide.

Will we finally break our transfer record?

This ties into our pursuit of a top striker but it is long overdue we break our transfer record. Every other top flight team had broken it within the last two years and our record should not be half of the likes of Leicester. We have went backwards under Ashley but even he must realise we need to spend more to even just stagnate. We can likely sell Gayle and Mitrovic for a combined fee of nearly £30m so that £17m fee paid for Michael Owen must be a thing of the past come August. In fact, to sign a new deal, Rafa will want the record broken 2/3 times this summer which in today’s climate, isn’t much to ask.
 
Rafa forcing these questions is brilliant for the fans, even if we live in fear in case he leaves. At least someone is making Ashley answer for his lack of ambition and Rafa knows he has the power and pedigree to back Ashley into a corner.
 
Long may it continue; we can celebrate finally having such an ambitious manager at the helm. It does mean though we don’t get the news we want this summer, that Benitez has signed a new deal. But while he stays in some capacity – he must have hope he can win the power battle with Ashley – otherwise he would take up one of the other offers he will no doubt be getting.

 (Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

507 thoughts on ““Rafa Benitez will NOT sign a new contract this summer” – Why would he?

  1. Stuart79: Hilarious – you still don’t know how the media works…

    Stuart man, they are all on twitter so are flooded with crap information all of the time. AND the Chronic journalists don’t seem to have any contacts at NUFC. That is probably Fat Mike doing his PRAVDA thing but Ryder, Waugh etc. seem to have very scant information about what is going on.

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  2. I see that “respected” journalist George Caulkin says that he likes his eggs boiled for 5 minutes. 4 minutes and they are a bit runny and 6 the yoke is a bit chalky.

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  3. Eric Sykes:
    I see that “respected” journalist George Caulkin says that he likes his eggs boiled for 5 minutes. 4 minutes and they are a bit runny and 6 the yoke is a bit chalky.

    Hopefully, you will get what that was about? A reference to the doldrums of nothing to report on NUFC. Pre-WC, as georgio says the NUFC hierarchy are all on hols so nothing is happening.

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  4. Just so I am clear. Eric and Georgio genuinely believe that absolutely nothing is happening in the football transfer world because players and some managers are on holiday? You don’t believe bids are being made, agents are talking to clubs and players and journalists are just making everything up?

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  5. Stuart I do believe bids are being made, agents are talking to clubs and players, but what we’re being fed by journalists is generally a long long way from what is actually happening and generally they know no more than you or me. Sunday we’ve actually signed that Turkish guy. Monday we haven’t. We’ve already been linked with hundreds of players. Rafa’s been tipped to move to West Ham, Liverpool, Madrid and Spurs. Rafa’s on holiday. No he isn’t . There’s serious column inches to fill every day. This is how the media works. Ryder thinks Caulkin knows this, Luke Edwards re prints it. On and on ad infinitum.

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  6. Stuart79:
    Seems a bit far fetched to me but therevyou go…

    Stuart: I think it is slow because the world cup is coming up and the big players are all in training camps. Meanwhile, their agents are wheeling and dealing and are in Spurs like cheese and wine rooms trying to get their commissions.

    We are probably in a waiting game to pick up the scraps as usual.

    I hope not. But that is the game between Rafa and Fatty it seems.

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  7. georgio:
    Stuart I do believe bids are being made, agents are talking to clubs and players, but what we’re being fed by journalists is generally a long long way from what is actually happening and generally they know no more than you or me. Sunday we’ve actually signed that Turkish guy. Monday we haven’t. We’ve already been linked with hundreds of players. Rafa’s been tipped to move to West Ham, Liverpool, Madrid and Spurs. Rafa’s on holiday. No he isn’t . There’s serious column inches to fill every day. This is how the media works. Ryder thinks Caulkin knows this, Luke Edwards re prints it. On and on ad infinitum.

    So you believe Journalists genuinely are sat at their desk making up stories?

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  8. Well I think it was Rafa himself who went on a facts rant. Certainly no facts in that opinion piece. Paranoia fuelled by years of living with Ashley. History is sometimes relevant. MA has backed his managers before. No evidence to sho he is or is not backing Rafa now.

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  9. PremAndUp:
    Well I think it was Rafa himself who went on a facts rant. Certainly no facts in that opinion piece. Paranoia fuelled by years of living with Ashley. History is sometimes relevant. MA has backed his managers before. No evidence to sho he is or is not backing Rafa now.

    An opinion piece is based on opinion not facts, Prem.

    As for Ashley backing Rafa. Every article I’ve seen as repeated the same thing. It’s not about the amount of money, it’s more to do with how he can spend it. Also about ambition. Allowing a manager to spend the money how he wants and having ambition are two things Mike Ashley has never done.

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  10. Leeds local press reckon Abel Hernandez is about to join them. I really can’t believe he was on our radar if he’s joining them.

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  11. So like Rafa we wait for the evidence. There are those expect none, whilst others hope for the best. Who is deluded? time will tell. Oh the suspense.

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  12. Hi guys,

    Bit of an urgent one here. We’ve had a few complaints from readers that there’s been pop-ups appearing on the site but can’t see any of this ourselves when I look on myself.

    Could you guys let me know if you’ve been experiencing any problems with these dodgy looking pop-ups at all and give me a bit more info if you have?

    Thanks!

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  13. Olly Hawkins:
    Hi guys,

    Bit of an urgent one here. We’ve had a few complaints from readers that there’s been pop-ups appearing on the site but can’t see any of this ourselves when I look on myself.

    Could you guys let me know if you’ve been experiencing any problems with these dodgy looking pop-ups at all and give me a bit more info if you have?

    Thanks!

    Olly – I’ve been getting some from marketing type ones offering me the chance of a free phone if I fill in a quick questionnaire thing. It seemed to only be when i was try to access this site.

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  14. Cheers Ice.
    Hope she and Lew are OK 😐

    Olly – I have a curry’s pop up as I type… Taken a screenshot if any use

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  15. So, this is my first experience of Live Island and I have to be honest, the men on here are literally the type of people I really do not like. Cheesy, corny, over confident toss pots. Oh and stupid women!

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  16. Stop watching Stuart. Your brain will thank you for it.

    I’ve never seen it either but I have watched an episode of Jersey Shore and I wish I could take that hour of my life back.

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  17. Stuart79:
    So, this is my first experience of Live Island and I have to be honest, the men on here are literally the type of people I really do not like. Cheesy, corny, over confident toss pots. Oh and stupid women!

    It is like: did the producers get the dumbest, entitled people on the planet just because they are young and have good bodies? The answer is. Yes they did.

    And the dumbness means The Sun can talk about how dumb Jamie or Charlene are whilst putting up 15 bikini shower photos.

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  18. Stuart79:
    So, this is my first experience of Live Island and I have to be honest, the men on here are literally the type of people I really do not like. Cheesy, corny, over confident toss pots. Oh and stupid women!

    DONT DO IT STU!!!!

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  19. Last time I was back in the UK I watched a couple of episodes of the Jeremy Kyle Show and thought – who are these people? Did a space ship just drop a bunch of incoherent pregnant people with half their teeth wondering who the father of their baby is?

    And, Jeremy! More sanctimonious than Piers Morgan. I think they are twins, separated at birth.

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  20. Stuart mate, it is the Robbie Savage and Stan Collymore syndrome on these reality beach shows. The more outrageous they are, the more a certain part of the population will like them. The producers know it.

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  21. Eric Sykes: Stuart man, they are all on twitter so are flooded with crap information all of the time. AND the Chronic journalists don’t seem to have any contacts at NUFC. That is probably Fat Mike doing his PRAVDA thing but Ryder, Waugh etc.seem to have very scant information about what is going on.

    Having worked in a newspaper – albeit fleetingly and not in sport, and I suppose it was early internet times as well – so I have some idea how newspapers work, and it ain’t the way Stuart imagines, or at least the reality bears little resemblance to his fantasy view.

    As for the Chronicle not having contacts, well, I’m sure they do, and I’m sure they get stories like every other journo. It just won’t be what you want to hear, so they write around the info they have – sometimes, yes Stuart, extrapolating other info to make up a cohesive story – often pandering to the fan base, ie the people who will read the story and get those vital statistics for the editor.

    It’s not as simplistic as sitting at the desk and writing fiction – though I’m sure that happens as well – it’s more a case of their contract stipulating the number of words/articles they have to produce. Which is why you get the 5-things … kind of stories. And they have key targets to meet regarding page hits and eyeballs on site. It all means they have to write something that appeals, and they do it with minimal information

    Also, football clubs have a small circle of in-the-know characters. Any leaks from a club would probably lead to dismissal. The office staff know bugger all unless they are actively involved in spying, even the players wouldn’t know anything (or very little).

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  22. I have no problem with opinions. It’s when they are dressed up as fact that gets my goat, and when they present other people’s opinions as fact, or when they lazily tap into fan fears and myths without giving the issue much logical thought.

    And of course there are those who say’ “it’s an opinion piece” and then go on to talk about the piece as if it were fact.

    By all means speculate and give opinions, but for some of us some speculation and opinions are more useful than others.

    What use would it be to anybody if I wrote an article based on some view that the moon is made of cheese and I speculated on just what sort of cheese it was, and how maybe the stars are crackers, and if only we had the technology we could stave off world hunger by feeding everybody cheese and crackers?

    It adds nothing to anybody’s knowledge, though it might be interesting to those who have an interest in absurdity. Such is the way of the vast majority of football media. Its usefulness for fans is only in helping to create a community – like this one – and people participating in it.

    There are no real insights into NUFC except those that come from the club itself.

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  23. You need to be careful.. going round basing your thoughts and opinions on experience and knowledge .. thats no way to be listened to.

    Tapping into bias, prejudice and what folks want to belive is the way forward

    I stopped listening to or reading media with any sense of belief many years ago .. when articles became about journalists opinions. Give me the facts and ill form my opinion

    Btw .. the moon isn’t made of cheese 😲 it seems like that crumbly chalky Cheshire stuff

    Brisvegas:
    I have no problem with opinions. It’s when they are dressed up as fact that gets my goat, and when they present other people’s opinions as fact, or when they lazily tap into fan fears and myths without giving the issue much logical thought.

    And of course there are those who say’ “it’s an opinion piece” and then go on to talk about the piece as if it were fact.

    By all means speculate and give opinions, but for some of us some speculation and opinions are more useful than others.

    What use would it be to anybody if I wrote an article based on some view that the moon is made of cheese and I speculated on just what sort of cheese it was, and how maybe the stars are crackers, and if only we had the technology we could stave off world hunger by feeding everybody cheese and crackers?

    It adds nothing to anybody’s knowledge, though it might be interesting to those who have an interest in absurdity. Such is the way of the vast majority of football media. Its usefulness for fans is only in helping to create a community – like this one – and people participating in it.

    There are no real insights into NUFC except those that come from the club itself.

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  24. Some good insights there BrisV, but I think social media, twitter, clickbaiting, mining for clicks have changed everything. All you have to do is look at Donald Trump to see how this stuff has changed everything.

    I still think Ryder could do a better job though because he is still bashing out the same clichéd articles he did 20 years ago and offers no inside information. Gibson had some contacts at NUFC and was able to relate some information without giving away his sources.

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  25. And Waugh didn’t even scratch the surface in his “analysis” of the NUFC accounts. I usually like what he writes, but that really was lazy journalism. All he had to do was call up an accountant FFS. If anybody says “maybe he did” then I would suggest he gets a better accountant.

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  26. “According to a report from The Northern Echo, Newcastle have rejected loan offers from Henri Saivet from Sivasspor and Bursaspor with the Magpies hoping to offload the midfielder on a permanent basis.” from HITC

    A report, in the Northern Echo ? Really, probably opinion at best.
    So I go to the Northern echo to find it. Guess what it’s not there.

    WOW Journalism at it’s finest.

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  27. Click bait can easily be dicephered from opinion pieces and a general transfer story.

    I find the notion that football clubs don’t brief as absurd. Bris seems to think that they don’t have their favourite journos and they really say nothing. Well how on earth did we know David Moyes was to be sacked as manager of Man Utd before he did? How did we know Mark Hughes was getting sacked from Man City before he did? How did we know Steve McClaren was going to be sacked before he was sacked? How did we know the club was in talks with Rafa before he was officially appointed? How did we all know Alan Pardew was in talks with palace when he was manager of NUFC?

    The simple fact is that football clubs leak stories to the press – always have and always will. If Bris thinks differently then your experience must have been on a school magazine.

    It’s like politics. Politicians are always leaking info. It’s just what happens.

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  28. PremAndUp:
    “According to a report from The Northern Echo, Newcastle have rejected loan offers from Henri Saivet from Sivasspor and Bursaspor with the Magpies hoping to offload the midfielder on a permanent basis.” from HITC

    A report, in the Northern Echo ? Really, probably opinion at best.
    So I go to the Northern echo to find it. Guess what it’s not there.

    WOW Journalism at it’s finest.

    I’m more inclined to think it’s HITC trying for click bait on this occasion. Although when stories like that are in local papers I think it’s more likely than not to be true. I mean, who gives two shits whether Saivet is being sold. It’s hardly worth making the story up is it?

    A good example here is that there are a couple of journos letting it be know that Everton areninterested in Lascelles. Whether that’s true or not we don’t know, but I would bet that someone either at Everton or at NUFC have briefed the the journos about this. In fact it could even be Rafa’s representatives who are leaking the stories. He’s always been keen on that kind of communication.

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  29. I notice a few supporters dismiss Rafa’s current contract impasse as just click bait for journos. But what I find interesting is that direct quotes from players. So far we’ve had Lascelles, Dubravka, Atsu and Gayle all saying it’s important the club get him signed up. I suppose this is just all irrelevant and no problems with the current impasse. I on the other hand, would much rather know more about it. Why is it taking so long? Why are the club the only party who has reservations about Rafa?

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  30. You could ask any of the current or previous players about Rafa’s situation and they’ll all say the same thing. It’s like Ryder ringing Robert and writing five stories from a 5 minute chat.
    “Well how on earth did we know David Moyes was to be sacked as manager of Man Utd before he did? How did we know Mark Hughes was getting sacked from Man City before he did? How did we know Steve McClaren was going to be sacked before he was sacked?” None of those stories were anything but informed guesses and I don’t recall any Rafa speculation until he was on his way to SJP.
    Anyway we can toss this around forever and be like Journalists. 😆

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  31. So Doctors in US use video footage to confirm Karius had concussion when he made his mistakes in the CL final.

    First of all I am. Sure that is rubbish but second – why did he not ask to be assessed by the club medics if feeling squiffy instead of carrying on – and why did the medics not notice on the night?

    Caugh Caugh… Bullshit….

    Sorry mate, you just wilted under the pressure.

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  32. I think it is time for World Cup predictions 🙂 I am going with the Socceroos in a 7-1 demolition of Brasil in the final. Similar to Germany in Brasil but with hats with corks dangling from the brims.

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  33. Shamrock:
    So Doctors in US use video footage to confirm Karius had concussion when he made his mistakes in the CL final.

    First of all I am. Sure that is rubbish but second – why did he not ask to be assessed by the club medics if feeling squiffy instead of carrying on – and why did the medics not notice on the night?

    Caugh Caugh… Bullshit….

    Sorry mate, you just wilted under the pressure.

    I saw that. It did seem rather like closing the barn door after the horse had bolted. Saying that you didn’t fancy her anyway. he may have been concussed but that throw was not a result of that. It was a coming together of bad luck and bad judgement.

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  34. I can’t decide whether it will be France or Spain. France, if they don’t play Pogba, Spain if they do.

    I would love Argentina to win to cement Messi’s place as the best player of all time. They don’t have a defense though.

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  35. georgio:
    You could ask any of the current or previous players about Rafa’s situation and they’ll all say the same thing. It’s like Ryder ringing Robert and writing five stories from a 5 minute chat.
    “Well how on earth did we know David Moyes was to be sacked as manager of Man Utd before he did? How did we know Mark Hughes was getting sacked from Man City before he did? How did we know Steve McClaren was going to be sacked before he was sacked?” None of those stories were anything but informed guesses and I don’t recall any Rafa speculation until he was on his way to SJP.
    Anyway we can toss this around forever and be like Journalists.

    Amazing coincidences! All of them!!! There’s none so blind as those who can’t see.

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  36. Just seen some stats that show England players have played less minutes this season than those of Spain, Brazil or France. Can we assume then that our players losing won’t be down to fatigue?

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  37. Shields gazette runs story with headline about business on hold as Benitez talks drag on. But I can’t read it as they want me to register.
    I might want to read it because I have yet to see any evidence that Benitez talks are ongoing, or that they are delaying business.
    Rafa said himself that there is no problems agreeing details, just infrastructure. The perceived wisdom, true or not, is that he will sign in February if he is properly backed. In this case we would be waiting to see who is signed. Rafa has also said he is here until next summer anyway.
    Where is there any evidence that says there is a problem between Rafa and the club and that this is holding up transfers and disrupting the players so that people like Lascelles are open to bids from inferior clubs. (my scouse friends all seem to be evertonians)

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  38. apparently if we don’t get Kenedy we are in for
    Garry Rodrigues
    Pione Sisto
    Quincy Promes
    among others
    Whilst Adama Traore is a RW target
    Which leaves Ritchie, Atsu and Murphy all under threat ?
    Even I could write articles about that lot

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  39. I would guess that the world cup will be played out by the usual suspects.

    As an outsider I’d go with Poland. I watched a game of theirs a few months ago (a replay of their win against … Armenia? Latvia? Lithuania? can’t recall). Ok, so no great opposition (though there are very few easy beats around the world these days). They won 6 or 7 nil. Anyway, they were very impressive. I haven’t seen England play for a few years now, so have no idea about them.

    I can’t see Australia getting out of its group. They’ll give it a go – they always do – but I don’t think the defence is strong enough. On their day they could beat Denmark and Peru, and they might just do that if the secret weapon’s fairy tale continues. I doubt it, though. Maybe a draw and a close loss, and probably a defeat by France.

    It’d be a major success if they get to the next round. We’ll be dancing in the streets if they go further than that. A QF appearance is as unlikely as Gateshead winning the FA Cup.

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  40. PremAndUp:
    Shields gazette runs story with headline about business on hold as Benitez talks drag on. But I can’t read it as they want me to register.
    I might want to read it because I have yet to see any evidence that Benitez talks are ongoing, or that they are delaying business.
    Rafa said himself that there is no problems agreeing details, just infrastructure. The perceived wisdom, true or not, is that he will sign in February if he is properly backed. In this case we would be waiting to see who is signed. Rafa has also said he is here until next summer anyway.
    Where is there any evidence that says there is a problem between Rafa and the club and that this is holding up transfers and disrupting the players so that people like Lascelles are open to bids from inferior clubs. (my scouse friends all seem to be evertonians)

    I’d say the fact that Rafa hasn’t signed a new contract after being in talks since January would provide enough evidence that things aren’t particularly going well.

    Interesting thing on Lascelles, I will be astonished if he’s not subject to a bid from another PL club. I’d sell only on three conditions which are;

    1) £60m
    2) Up front payment
    3) Rafa gives it his blessing.

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  41. If you want examples of clickbait you need look no further than the articles that appear on this very site. It’s one of the many reasons I stopped coming here. Ed’s blog does the same. I haven’t been there for a very long time.

    The example you give, Stu, isn’t clickbait; it’s an example of a manufactured story.

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  42. It’s there to tempt people to click on the story. It’s about a player we haven’t signed and have just been linked to signing. It’s not exactly imperative reading is it?

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  43. What we do know about Rafa’s situation is that his ambitions for the club are in no way aligned with Jabba’s. That will always be the biggest stumbling block to Rafa staying.

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