It’s been over six weeks now since the club sat down with Rafa’s people to thrash out a potential new deal, and although he’s committed to staying at St James’ Park for the 2018/19 season (the final year of his contract), there doesn’t appear to have been any real progress regarding his long-term future.
This comes across as a pretty glum update, however it’s what we should expect really. Ashley has a lot to prove to Benitez after a series of broken promises, so it’s up to him to do things right this summer before all else. If he delivers this summer, THEN maybe Rafa will sign.
Here’s a pretty telling snippet from Mark Douglas’ latest piece for the Chronicle:
“Barring a change in the tone of conversations between Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez, he will not sign a new contract this summer as he waits to see what unfolds in the transfer market.
“Benitez wants to commit to United long-term but won’t give assurances over his future that he can’t keep – especially as he prides himself on not having broken a contract in his managerial career before.
“Benitez will stay on at Newcastle next season but the unsigned contract is leverage for him as he works with a hierarchy who will not offer him the cast-iron assurances that he is looking for over future investment.
“When he was asked to delve into the specifics of the negotiations, Benitez dodged the question before the end of the season. “It is in the hands of my people,” was his stock quote.
“Since then we’re told there has been no substantive progress.”
It’s a concern to hear that Benitez has STILL not convinced to sign a new deal – suggesting the club remain reluctant to give him what he wants – however it should come as no surprise that he’s refusing to commit just yet.
Its’ quite clear what he’s doing. ‘Show me you mean business and are capable of backing me this summer and I’ll sign’. I imagine that’s what he’s saying.
The board and Mike Ashley can say what they like to Rafa and give him a whole load of promises, but why would Benitez believe them after what’s gone on over the past 18 months?