The report also insists that he’ll be told he CAN break the club’s £21m transfer record once again in the summer, but suggests that a deal for Salomon Rondon remains a ‘sticking point’ between the two parties, with the 29-year-old not fitting into Ashley’s policy of ‘under 26 with sell-on value’.
It’s also claimed that Ashley and Charnley have already rejected approaches from other managers and want Benitez’s future sorted imminently – however a budget of £50m and limited freedom to sign players over 26 hardly suggests they’re willing to back the Spaniard.
Here’s what Craig Hope’s had to say in his latest piece for the Mail following the release of the club’s 2017/18 accounts:
Newcastle United will tell Rafa Benitez he can break the club’s transfer record again this summer and want his future sorted imminently after rejecting the advances of other managers.
Turnover is up to £178.5million — an increase of £92.8m — and the Magpies returned a profit of £18.6m for the year ending June 2018. Wages are also down by nearly £9m to £103.4m, meaning there is scope to invest in the coming months.
A transfer budget of around £50m – plus player sales – is likely, and owner Mike Ashley is happy for that to be spent on two players in the region of £25m, meaning January’s £21m record signing of Miguel Almiron will be smashed, perhaps even twice.
Such expensive outlays, however, would almost certainly have to be on players such as Almiron – under 26 and with sell-on value.
Club sources insist there is an ambition to compete in the top 10 of the Premier League, rather than simply survive, and that two such quality additions each season is their preferred model going forward.
Ashley and Charnley want Benitez to be the manager who takes them forward and they have refused to speak to agents and other bosses who have been circling in anticipation of a vacancy. All efforts, it is said, are focused on keeping the Spaniard.
Benitez, though, wants more than a guarantee of funds from the club’s hierarchy before he commits to signing a new contract. His current deal expires on June 30 and the club have been trying to negotiate new terms since last January.
However, Benitez wants to know that he can spend money as he sees fit – such as the permanent signing of West Brom loanee Salomon Rondon – and this remains a sticking point.
It’s interesting to read claims that Rafa can spend his budget on two £25m players if he likes – something which suggests he can spend it however he likes upon initial reading – but Hope goes on to reveal the conditions. As always, Ashley is clearly unwilling to spend big money on players 26 and over, so Rafa will only have so much freedom (not to forget there’s only so many ‘quality player’ he can sign with £50m!).
I’m sure Benitez will be happy to sign young, talented players with potential, but there MUST be a compromise – and a budget of ‘£50m PLUS player sales’ has to be clear, with us selling Mitrovic and Merino for a combined £30-35m last summer yet replacing them with a loan and free agent (Rondon & Ki).
If Ashley and co. don’t sanction a deal for Rondon and can’t offer cast iron promises, I can’t see Benitez signing – especially when a £50m budget gives him very little to play with in this day and age.
With Shelvey, Hayden and a few other fringe players likely to be sold this summer, a £50m budget ‘plus player sales’ could give Benitez a decent chunk to spend, but I feel their flexibility regarding players 26 and above and ability to sign Rafa’s top targets quickly must change if he’s to sign.