The Telegraph reported last night that Rafa Benítez will meet with Mike Ashley next week to discuss his future at the club, his plans moving forward and the transfer budget he is to be offered this summer.
Following promotion last week, Benitez insisted he was ‘happy’ at the club and ‘hoped’ to stay, but did little to ease fans fears, stating ‘you never know’ when he was asked whether he’d be at the club next season.
Benitez has since confirmed that he plans to talk with Mike Ashley to discuss their plans moving forward, but admitted last week that he did not know when they would be meeting. Following the Telegraph’s update, however, it appears the pair will be meeting next week.
The article also suggests that Benitez is likely to be offered a transfer budget of around £70 million by Ashley. The Spaniard is not only hoping for substantial funds to build his team in the short term this summer, but reassurance that Ashley’s ambition matches his own in the medium and long term.
Club sources have suggested that both Benitez and Ashley are keen to make it work, however I don’t expect the NUFC owner to be manipulated by Benitez, despite his overwhelming popularity amongst fans.
We can only hope Ashley sees sense and does the right thing!