According to the Northern Echo, Rafa Benitez has become ‘increasingly frustrated’ by the lack of movement over a potential new deal, with sources close to the Spaniard insisting he will walk if Mike Ashley does not act quickly.
The report claims that those in power at Newcastle United feel Rafa Benitez will NOT walk away from the club, but it seems the 59-year-old is now ready to call Ashley’s bluff and move on if he doesn’t receive a response to his contract demands soon.
The Echo reveal that Benitez submitted a detailed ‘dossier’ outlining his specific contract demands prior to the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal earlier this month, but it’s since been reported that he’s yet to hear anything back.
Here’s a what North-East reporter has had to say during his slightly worrying piece in the Northern Echo today:
‘RAFAEL BENITEZ is ready to walk away from Newcastle United at the end of the season if the club’s hierarchy is not prepared to end the current impasse over his contractual position.
‘Benitez is growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of movement over a proposed new deal, and while his preference is to remain at St James’ Park beyond the end of his current contract, which is due to expire at the end of June, he is prepared to call time on his Newcastle career if Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley are not willing to meet his demands.
‘It has been suggested in some quarters that Newcastle’s rulers do not believe Benitez will turn his back on the Magpies after more than three years with the club.
‘However, sources close to the Spaniard and his representatives insist that is not the case, and while they claim the 59-year-old remains hopeful a new deal can be agreed before the end of the season, they are also adamant he is ready to move elsewhere if the current uncertainty is not resolved. He continues to attract sustained interest from China and the Middle East, as well as being the subject of ongoing speculation linking him with a handful of different clubs in La Liga.
‘While contractual discussions with Newcastle have been ongoing for more than a year, there has been no real progress in the last couple of months despite a heightened need for clarity on both sides of the talks.
‘Benitez was asked to submit a dossier outlining his demands at the start of this month, and it is understood a document was formally sent to Newcastle’s powerbrokers ahead of the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.
‘The content of the wish-list should not have been a surprise to either Charnley or Ashley, with Benitez’s requirements well known. The Newcastle boss wants cast-iron guarantees over the club’s transfer plans for the duration of any future contract, both in terms of the size of the budget that will be available if the Magpies remain in the Premier League and the extent to which Benitez will be able to dictate which players are signed and sold.
‘Benitez is also understood to be seeking clarification over whether Ashley intends to continue his policy of refusing to sign or retain players over the age of 30. Benitez wants to sign Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis this summer, even though the West Brom loanee is due to turn 30 in September, and is aware of a growing issue over Matt Ritchie’s position on Tyneside.’
It’s a worrying update but, in reality, this is bound to be Benitez’s stance given the pure ignorance Mike Ashley continues to show.
While he enjoys his Easter break in the US, we’re all in limbo, while Rafa is made to wait THREE weeks on from sending his contract requests to the club.
Ashley is playing a dangerous game of cat and mousse and needs to pull his finger out quickly – or he WILL lose the best manager this club has had since Sir Bobby.