According to Bein Sports’ Ben Jacobs, Bin Zayed Group sources say that they don’t expect any takeover to go through before Rafa Benitez’s contract expires on June 30th.
As a result, it would then be up to Mike Ashley to persuade Rafa Benitez to sign a new deal at the club.
As Jacobs states below, the potential lure of new ownership could tempt Benitez to commit to a new deal, but this could be an extremely messy situation and a difficult decision made even tougher for Rafa – especially if a takeover is not imminent.
So, on Sunday night this deal was described as ‘done’ by the likes of the Sun and the Mail, yet now we’re being told that it’ll take another month at least.
It seems they want Benitez to stay should they take over, but it also appears that their ‘priority’ is to secure the club – not ‘decide on a manager’.
These things do take time, with proof of funds still needed, contracts needing to be exchanged and the Premier League needing to be contacted to carry out a fully fit and proper person test, but a penny for Rafa Benitez’s thoughts in all of this. It’s also worrying to think that this could drag another month, taking up several valuable weeks of the transfer window.
You’d expect him to sign if a takeover was all but done and imminent, however it’s hard to see how he can commit when he doesn’t know who will be in charge of the club in a few months time.