According to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, a five-year deal is still on the table for Rafa Benitez to sign, however the NUFC boss is yet to receive assurances over improvements to the club’s training ground and Academy set-up.
The piece insists that it is not about money or ‘personal gain’ for Benitez, but instead the feeling that the club is moving in the right direction – something we have no been doing for years under Mike Ashley’s miserable reign.
It seems to me that a healthy budget and control over transfers is another thing Rafa would need to see sorted out to commit his future under Ashley, however the Chronicle’s latest piece suggests he is willing to be ‘flexible’ on that front.
Here’s a snippet from Ryder’s latest piece:
‘Newcastle United’s contract extension offer for Rafa Benitez is still on the table – despite talk of a takeover at St James’ Park.
‘The stumbling blocks remain the same in the eyes of Benitez with his requests to upgrade the training ground and the Academy set-up still not sanctioned.
‘For Benitez it has never been about salary or personal gain, and he is even prepared to accept some flexibility on transfer funds providing the squad continues to improve over the years to come.
‘But Benitez feels that the training ground is still in need of a face lift with space limited at the current Benton HQ.
‘The Toon boss did see the club fund a new plastic pitch two years ago, however, the temperature in the indoor hall remains an issue and it is felt that heaters are required during Academy training sessions.
‘Benitez’s plan for the youth set-up has also not been approved with the United manager feeling that more funds need to be ploughed into the Academy to help safeguard the club in the future.’
On one hand it’s positive to hear Rafa is willing to be flexible in a bid to remain at the club (even under Ashley), but it’s infuriating to hear that we are unwilling to sanction basic improvements to our run down training ground and Academy that’s clearly in need of a boost.
The ideal scenario is obviously a takeover and the arrival of new owners that could and would back Benitez properly on all fronts, but we can’t pin all of our hopes on that given Ashley’s history of forcing through a sale.
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