As highlighted earlier, the Northern Echo reported this week that Mike Ashley now wants Benitez to sign a new deal BEFORE the January window to help ease the uncertainly at Newcastle – which is ironic given Ashley himself is the cause of all of this.
Considering all the false promises and lies that have come out of this man’s mouth recently, he’s got some nerve asking Rafa to trust him on this one.
They claim he’ll personally intervene and get involved with talks to ensure that he signs the five year deal that has been on offer since the summer – but, as always, the timing is impeccable (if not embarrassing) from Mike.
It’s farcical that Ashley thinks Benitez would commit to the conditions Ashley currently imposes at Newcastle. Why on earth would Rafa commit until after the January window to see if Ashley will finally put his money where is mouth is?
I can only re-call one similar situation where Ashley got more ‘hands on’; under Alan Pardew, where after finishing 5th, the Magpies where in real danger at the winter break of going down. Ashley personally talked to the likes of Sissoko and Gouffran to persuade them to sign for the club and although this helped, the days of signing players like Sissoko for £2m are long, long gone.
Money now talks more than ever and Rafa knows it, he will rightly want proof Ashley has some ambition for the club before he commits for time to life on Tyneside. The embarrassing transfer record of £16m for Michael Owen needs to be broken for a start to show Rafa we mean business.
Let’s just hope Ashley doesn’t hold Rafa to ransom in January should he fail to sign – as it appears as though this is exactly what he did over the summer, with some reports suggesting this is why he failed to release substantial funds.
Sports Direct’s share price is falling, there is talk of Boycotting the Wolves game and Rafa’s popularity has Ashley on the ropes and it will take more than a few free pizza’s to get the former Real Madrid boss to sign that new deal.