According to The Telegraph, a transfer summit is set to take place at NUFC which could decide Rafa Benitez’s long term future – with Mike Ashley ‘urging’ Lee Charnley to find out exactly what the Spaniard requires to sign a new deal.
With Benitez believed to be ‘encouraged’ by Ashley’s presence at Saturday’s game (his first in 18 months), the report also states that Rafa is hoping this is a sign that the NUFC owner is now ready to ‘reengage’.
After dealing with years of lies, deceit and a total lack of ambition, it’s hard to believe that Ashley has genuine plans that could better Newcastle United – however this would be a big step forward if he was no willing to listen to Benitez’s demands.
Here’s a snippet from Luke Edwards’ piece for The Telegraph today, claiming that Ashley has ‘urged’ Charnley to find out what Rafa is asking for to commit to the club:
“Newcastle United will have a meeting to discuss their transfer budget for the January window this week, as part of an effort to persuade manager Rafael Benitez to remain in charge beyond the end of the season.
“Benitez will make a series of requests when he sits down with managing director Lee Charnley, who has been urged to find out what the Spaniard feels he needs by owner Mike Ashley.
“Ashley attended his first Newcastle game for almost 18 months at the weekend and witnessed a dire 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in London, in which their lack of firepower in attack was made blatantly clear.”
The report insists that Ashley is ‘keen’ to see Benitez stay on as manager of NUFC, but it does mention that Benitez is not only keen to find out just how much money he will have to spend in January, but to also find out if he will be allowed to spend it as he sees fit.
Given the club clearly put restrictions on that over the summer, this could be key – with Rafa also likely to demand assurances on the development of our Academy and U-23’s.
If a takeover doesn’t happen, our only hope is that Ashley begins to give Benitez at least some of what he wants.