The 51-year-old has also questioned why the club are making Benitez wait over a new contract, with him suggesting that the club have ‘slowed things down’ and failed to respond to his demands as they know there’s no other Premier League options available to Rafa right now.
Speaking on his Youtube channel this week, here’s that Balague has had to say about Rafa Benitez’s situation at Newcastle:
“I think Newcastle knows what Rafa Benitez wants – he wants to have more information about the budget,”
“Perhaps Newcastle are thinking: ‘Well, he hasn’t got other options in the Premier League, so we can slow things down.’
“They [the Newcastle hierarchy] are talking about a £100m [transfer budget], but they said in two seasons, of £50m each season.
“Is that enough when the likes of Bournemouth and Leicester, and others, will have £100m or more [to spend each year]? It will limit the possibility of actually going up into the table.
“I’m starting to think, if I’m Rafa Benitez, I go (back home to Spain for a job in La Liga instead).
“I am sure he has already got offers from other clubs, not just from China and Saudi Arabia. I’m sure that is the case.
“If he was home, there won’t be just small clubs [interested], I can tell you that. So I don’t know.
“If I was Newcastle even, if I have to sell the club, I’d rather keep Rafa Benitez in the club.”
“The club has probably mentioned that after the last game of the season it will be time to talk, but that of course limits the possibilities for Rafa Benitez because clubs are already deciding on managers,”
“Why make him wait?
He makes a very valid point about how Benitez’s future could impact a takeover too. Having world class manager commit himself to the club would mean Mike Ashley is not only more likely to attract buyers, but able to justify a higher price.
The pros totally outweigh the cons when it comes to keeping Rafa Benitez at the club, but the apparent lack of progress suggests Mike Ashley is still not giving the matter his full attention.
This would be nothing new, with him priorities lying elsewhere as we know, but he’s about to lose the best manager we’ve had since Sir Bobby and thousands of Newcastle fans if he doesn’t act quickly.