Some concerning claims have emerged over Rafa Benitez’s future at NUFC, with Elliot Foster claiming that a deal allowing Watford’s Troy Deeney to join Newcastle was sanctioned this month, only for the striker to pull out of the deal after being unable to gain assurances on Rafa Benitez’s future on Tyneside.
Now, we obviously can’t be sure that this is true, but if what Foster is claiming is correct, this has to be seen as quite a worrying sign from the Spaniard.
Before we consider whether this may hold any truth, here’s what he revealed on his personal Twitter account:
.@T_Deeney to @WBA from @WatfordFC is likely in this window. Deal to @NUFC was sanctioned but striker wanted assurances of @rafabenitezweb’s future. Due to fact they couldn’t be given, player backed away from deal.
— Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz) January 15, 2018
So he believes a deal to bring Deeney to St James’ Park was ‘sanctioned’. Firstly, I would seriously question how this transfer could have been agreed if Rafa still doesn’t know his budget? Watford had slapped a £20m price-tag on his head over the summer, so I struggle to believe how we’d have that one ready to go.
If my inkling is wrong and the deal was ready to go, then the second bit about Benitez’s being unable to assure Deeney of his NUFC future is a real worry. Is Rafa unable to commit to the club in the long-term until he knows what league we’ll be in and who will be in charge come the summer? Quite possibly.
Benitez won’t leave this season, I’m sure of that, but if Staveley’s proposed takeover fell through then Rafa will realise that his vision cannot be achieved under Ashley’s watch.