Sky Sports’ north-east reporter Keith Downie insists that Rafa Benitez seemed more positive about contract talks during his press conference today – saying his ‘body language’ suggested progress may have been made.
Downie may be clutching at straws a little here, but it’s interesting to see him state that the ‘obvious frustration’ he’s seen in over the past weeks wasn’t there when watching Rafa speak today.
Here’s what Rafa had to say when addressing his future:
“You know what my answer, is we have to wait. For us the main thing is to concentrate on the games. If we have any news you will know.
“We have conversations, sometimes Lee Charnley comes with us to the games. We can talk about serious things.”
“I have my opinion but we have to find a point where we are close enough between both parties – hopefully before June 30.”
“They could bring another manager and he could be happy with 15th, I want to do more.”
Rafa then talked about the ‘massive’ potential at Newcastle, also discussing his plans for the club – both this summer and into the future:
“I want to compete in cups but you can’t if you are at the bottom. If we do the right things we can compete.”
“For me the potential is there, it’s a massive club and city. Home and away the support is massive. My memories at Liverpool and Chelsea are NUFC are massive and should be in the top 10.”
“It’s important to do business early, especially with the prices in the market. Sometimes you try to do things early & you can’t, but we have to be sure we are ready to do what we want to do. The club has an idea, & we have to be sure we have the same idea”
There’s some promising stuff from Rafa here, but it’s clear that he still has several points that must be addressed if he’s to sign a new deal this summer.
Interestingly, Downie wasn’t the only one present at the press conference to comment on Benitez’s positive approach and improved body language, with several other reporters commenting on his demeanour today.
Let’s hope this is a sign that some progress is being made!