According to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, Rafa Benitez has told the club he will NOT break his contract and leave before the season ends – despite admitting that he has ‘no idea’ if we’ll sign anyone in the next 5 days.
It was reported a few days ago that he’d walk if TWO of his January targets weren’t signed by next Thursday night’s deadline, but the Chronicle claim he was ‘shocked’ by these suggestions – even if he does look very likely to leave when his contract expires this summer.
So, it seems Rafa won’t quit just yet, with him keen to honour his contract at the club and give us every chance of staying up between now and May, but he’ll just be delaying the inevitable if something doesn’t change.
Here’s a snippet from Lee Ryder’s piece for the Chronicle:
‘Rafa Benitez has told Newcastle United he has no intention of shirking his duties at St James’ Park this season – regardless of what happens in the remainder of the January transfer window.
‘Benitez was shocked to see suggestions he will quit if he doesn’t get what he wants in the last throes of the winter trading period, but while he is frustrated with the club’s slow response time in the window, he is determined to see the job through.
‘The Toon boss stated he was “happy to talk” to the powers that be if things are “done right” at St James’ Park.
‘But those discussions will not reopen until the start of February when Mike Ashley will listen to what Benitez wants in more in-depth.
‘Although, some written assurances on some important matters – particularly recruitment – will be required.’
As far as our fight for survival is concerned this is ‘positive’ to hear, but it’s a pretty ominous situation.
Unless Ashley changes his tune on the takeover or transfer front, I can’t see a way that Rafa stays beyond this season.