It was reported yesterday in a big exclusive by the Telegraph that Rafa would walk in TWO players weren’t signed before next week’s deadline, but the Mirror claim that the Miguel Almiron deal could be key in all of this – suggesting just loan deals may not be enough.
Ashley make not take well to threats, but Benitez was bound to reach the end of his tether at some point – especially when he and club scouts have pursued this deal for months on end now.
What makes things worse, the club have admitted in recent the most recent Fans Forum that there is money to spend on a club record deal – making a £16m bid for Almiron all the more infuriating.
Here’s what the Mirror’s Ian Murtagh has shared on the current situation:
Rafa Benitez’s future at Newcastle may hang on whether or not they sign MLS star Miguel Almiron.
Should he miss out on his top January target, he won’t even sit down with MD Lee Charnley to discuss staying on beyond the end of the season.
Benitez believes Almiron, a Paraguay international who plays for Major League Soccer champions Atlanta United, can keep his 17th-placed side in the Premier League and the Magpies’ top brass have known for two months he wants the 24-year-old to fill the problem No10 role in his team.
Newcastle’s £16m valuation of Almiron falls well short of Atlanta’s asking price. They are also stalling on the player’s wage demands and his agent’s fee.
Benitez told owner Mike Ashley during the summer that if the club failed to invest then, they risked having to pay inflated prices now.
With talks about a takeover stalling, Ashley is keen to meet his manager.
But as far as Benitez is concerned, he compiled his list of targets late last year and believes it is now up to the club to get some deals over the line.
It remains to be seen what Rafa’s stance on the ‘quit front’ is IF deals for Gelson Martins and Antonio Barreca come off, but signing both on loan and refusing to pay up for Almiron would still suggest Ashley is refusing to change.
A few loan signings to boost our chances of survival would no doubt please Benitez, but we’re not doing what he wants us to in terms of our long-term hopes if we’re refusing to pay over £16m for his top targets.