The report claims that, since their meeting in London last Thursday, the two parties have held ‘long-distance discussions’ led by Lee Charnley – and it seems Ashley is now keen to get this saga sorted for good.
It’s mentioned that Ashley is willing to sanction a £100m spend over the next two seasons – a figure which would reportedly be topped up by player sales – but it’s not said if this is something Rafa has agreed to.
Here’s a snippet from Miles Starforth’s latest piece for the Shields Gazette:
Mike Ashley is ready to sit down with Rafa Benitez to finalise an agreement – after a week of talks.
Benitez, out of contract this summer, met Ashley in London late last week to discuss a new deal at Newcastle United.
Long-distance discussions, led by managing director Lee Charnley, have continued between the two parties.
Benitez is looking for a competitive transfer budget – Ashley is prepared to sanction a £100million spend over four windows which would be supplemented by money from player sales – and more autonomy in the market.
Benitez hasn’t spoken since the end of the season, and the club, which finished 13th in the league, has made no comment on the negotiations, which could even carry on into next week.
Ashley is on standby to meet Benitez again to shake hands on a deal should Benitez and Charnley finalise an agreement.
As the final two lines suggest, it seems Benitez and Charnley will have to come to an agreement first before Mike Ashley will intervene and sign everything off, however it seems that there’s a willingness on all sides to get this sorted as soon as possible.
Hopefully this can be finalised before the week is out, with us already 7 days into the summer transfer window – which shuts in early August this year.