According to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez is now back home in the Wirral and waiting on a phone call to see if Mike Ashley will accept his contract demands and proposal for a ‘new project’ at Newcastle United.
The piece also confirms that Rafa has received approaches from both Roma and Marseille – but the Spaniard told both that he’s focused on signing a new deal at St James’ Park.
Rafa will no doubt have a LOT of issues to address with Ashley and Charnley, with several compromises and written promises likely to be needed, but you’d have hoped this would’ve been sorted by now.
We’re now a week on from the reported meeting between Ashley and Benitez in London last Thursday, however Lee Ryder’s latest piece suggests that talks could yet continue into next week.
Here’s a snippet from his latest piece for the Chronicle, confirming recent interest from Roma and Marseille:
‘Rafa Benitez is believed to have respectfully told both Marseille and AS Roma his main priority is getting a deal with Newcastle United signed, sealed and delivered soon.
‘Benitez’s name has been bandied around the French and Italian media in recent days, but the talks with United remain ongoing.
‘As it stands, both parties are mulling through the finer detail of the contract that is on the table – and it could even go into another week of discussions between United and Benitez’s lawyer and representative.
‘By the same token, Benitez is waiting by his phone to hear if his proposal for a new project has been accepted by Mike Ashley.
‘Benitez is now back at home in the Wirral but he has told Ashley his views and how he sees United becoming a better club going forward.‘
It’s positive to hear that he’s fully focused and committed to penning a new contract at the club, however there is a feeling now that talks are beginning to drag.
There’s only so long Rafa can continue to reject clubs interested in appointing him as their new manager – especially if Mike Ashley is unwilling to compromise during contract talks.