According to an exclusive in The Chronicle, Mike Ashley is now willing to hand Rafa Benitez the contract he wants – as long he is willing to wait for ‘certain requests’.
Not for the first time, Lee Ryder’s piece makes it clear as to what Benitez wants, stating that ‘financial power’ in the transfer market, changes to the club’s academy and an improved training ground are THREE of his demands.
Before I get into it, here’s a snippet from The Chronicle’s ‘exclusive’:
Newcastle United chiefs are understood to be ready to offer Rafa Benitez he contract extension he wants – providing he is prepared to wait for certain requests.
Benitez is keen to have more financial power at St James’ Park but also wants to make changes at the club’s Academy and wants a better training ground.
The Sunday Sun has learned that all three of those conditions could be met between over a five-year period – which would be the course of the initial contract offered to Benitez back in June.
However, talks have taken place since then and there has been a healthy dialogue between managing director Lee Charnley and Benitez in the meantime.
This all sounds promising, but the issue lies with how long he’d have to ‘wait’ for certain requests. If that’s saying he’d get financial power and money to spend in the market now but training ground improvements would have to wait a year, I’d imagine he’d live with that, but then again, can he trust a word Ashley says?
It’s clear Rafa wants to stay and make a success of his time at St James’ Park, but it’s also quite clear that he won’t hang around if Ashley continues to ignore his requests and show no ambition.
Will Rafa accept, or will it be a case of once bitten, twice as shy?
I think we’ll have to back him in January before Benitez even considering committing his future to a Mike Ashley owned NUFC.