The report highlights Rafa’s wish for a clearer transfer budget, promises on training ground and Academy investment, but also to improve our decision making process and make more ‘high profile signings’ – with him bound to be fed up of shopping for bargains and missing out on several top targets each year.
Here’s a few snippets from the Chronicle’s latest piece on Benitez’s upcoming contract talks:
‘Rafa Benitez wants Newcastle United to offer him a deal that will help take the club back to being a top eight outfit in the Premier League.
‘That was the type of agreement Benitez was hoping for last summer after leading the team to a top 10 finish but the talks collapsed and some observers feel that the uncertain feeling over the manager’s future have affected the side this term.
‘Benitez is confident of another strong finish but has put contract talks on ice as he looks to move in on Premier League safety.
‘When those discussions resume he would like some clarity on what type of transfer budget is on offer and whether the club are prepared to invest in the training ground and the Academy.’
The fact he’s asking for us to become an established top 8 side just proves that he’s not asking for too much. After all, back Benitez with everything the club earns and give him control of signings and I’m quite confident we’d be competing with that cluster of clubs outside the top 6.
Lee Ryder’s piece also reveals how Rafa will also point Ashley in the direction of Longstaff and Dummett – showing that huge money can be saved if our Academy brings through players capable of starring in the senior team:
‘Benitez will showcase players like Sean Longstaff and Paul Dummett as a way Mike Ashley can save millions if he gets the youth system in a better working order.
‘His last discussion with Ashley involved a brief mention of whether he would sign the five-year contract that is still on offer to him.
‘However, during Ashley’s brief chat with Benitez, there was no assurance on his requests, only a reminder that the contract was a good financial deal for the ex-Liverpool boss.’
And finally, the Chronicle mention how Benitez is keen to see the club’s ‘overall decision making process’ become much smoother – with Rafa also keen to see the club make more ‘high profile signing’, instead of ‘scraping around’ for loans:
‘Benitez is also keen to for the club’s overall decision making process to work more smoothly.
‘He was left frustrated by the Miguel Almiron deal in which the overall transfer took over two months to complete – and the player almost didn’t sign at all as his agent jetted out to Italy to hold talks with Napoli before United negotiated their position.
‘Ashley will see the signing of £16million Almiron as proof that he is committed to his manager but Benitez is stickler for small details and wants to know how much of a budget will be on offer in the summer.’
“With United in profit, Benitez also hopes that there will be an opportunity to bring in more high profiles signings like Almiron rather than scraping around in the bargain basement and looking to cobble together loan deals like the one for Antonio Barreca from Monaco.’
Rafa is giving Ashley every chance of keeping him at the club – something the NUFC owner would be a fool to underestimate given we’d have still been in the Championship if it wasn’t for the Spaniard’s work over the past few seasons.
Do you think Rafa will be here this time next season? I’m hoping and praying he is, but I can’t help but feel Ashley will be highly reluctant to agree to the above terms.