Sky Sports’ Keith Downie has confirmed that talks between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley have ‘carried over’ into today – stating that dialogue between the two is expected to ‘continue over the next 48 hours’.
It’s not quite the news we wanted to hear, but does at least provide an ‘update’ on the current state of play and timeframe of contract talks.
This comes after it was confirmed yesterday that the pair met in a ‘secret location’ in London on Thursday to discuss the terms of a potential new contract.
Here’s what North-East reporter Keith Downie has had to say about Rafa’s meeting with the NUFC hierarchy this lunchtime, followed by a snippet from Sky’s latest piece:
‘Rafael Benitez is expected to continue talks with Newcastle over the weekend regarding a new contract.
‘The Spaniard sat down with bosses in London on Thursday in a bid to thrash out a new contract.
‘Benitez wants to be given the green light to sign players over the age of 26, which has been against club policy in previous years.
‘His current £5m-a-year deal ends on June 30.
‘Benitez, who wants to see Newcastle competing for European qualification and silverware, turned down a contract offer last summer.
‘He has been in charge at St James’ Park for three years but Sky Sports News understands he has been buoyed by owner Mike Ashley breaking the club’s long-standing transfer record to sign Miguel Almiron in January.‘
It was stated yesterday by the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards that an ‘announcement’ would take place over the weekend if an agreement was reached, so the fact these talks are expected to continue over the next 48 hours suggest there’s work to be done yet.
A huge 48 hours awaits for this football club. Fingers crossed.