Ex-NUFC striker Mick Quinn has admitted that Rafa Benitez wants to stay at NUFC ‘long-term’ and is aiming to see the club challenge the top six as early as next year – but does have one ‘big’ offer from an unnamed club in Europe.
The TalkSPORT pundit admitted earlier in the week that he spoke to the Spaniard last Friday, saying “he wants to see this job through and see Newcastle above Arsenal next year, possibly in the top six”.
Since then, he’s wrote a column for the Chronicle about 58-year-old’s future. Here’s what he’s had to say:
“Rafa firmly believes he can win trophies at Newcastle. He must be given the resources to be able to do so. Look what he has done with the current squad he has – and then imagine what he could do if he was properly backed.”
“If Mike Ashley remains owner, he must sit down with Rafa, ask him what he needs in order to succeed – and then give him it. If a takeover happens instead, then whoever comes in must do likewise. Rafa is the very key to Newcastle’s future success – and he wants to stay long term.”
“I know he does. But we can’t rest on our laurels there. I know for a fact that a few clubs around Europe have already registered an interest in Rafa – including a big one – but he wants to stay at Newcastle.”
He then discussed the terms he feels Benitez will demand when he sits down for crunch talks with the NUFC board this summer, admitting that he ‘won’t hang around’ too much longer if he isn’t given assurances:
“Rafa may love the fans, he may love this club and may want to stay – but he won’t hang around just to be among the also-rans.
“He’s a man of honour, so I think regardless of what happens he’ll stay for the final year of his contract. But securing him down to a longer deal is a different matter entirely.
“If he is given the assurances that the club match his own ambitions, he would sign it in a heartbeat. This is where he wants to be; he has laid the foundations for success, and he wants to deliver that.
“But cast-iron promises must be given – and a decent transfer kitty needs to be offered this summer and beyond so that Rafa can build over time.
“If those things don’t arrive, then surely Rafa would consider his position come this time next year – and I don’t think any Newcastle fan would blame him for doing so, either.”
Some pretty bold stuff here from Mick, who hasn’t held back much at all from his recent conversation with Rafa.
The ‘top six’ claim seems ambitious, but that just sums up what Rafa wants to achieve at Newcastle United, proving once again why it is essential that he receives full backing this summer.