Speaking to the Chronicle, Dubai-based reporter Ben Jacobs claims that the Bin Zayed Group have ‘indicated’ that around £150m could be available to Rafa Benitez if a takeover goes through over the next few weeks.
Jacobs – who is a Middle-East correspondent working for Bein Sports and ESPN – also claims that, should a deal go through, the Bin Zayed Group have drawn up 3-5 year plan to challenge for Champions League places.
This of course assumes that a £350m deal happens and the Spaniard signs a new contract at the club, however this is one of several interesting claims Ben Jacobs made during his appearance on the Chronicle’s latest podcast.
In his guest appearance on the ‘Everything’s Black and White Podcast‘ (listen to it below), he also mentions that a ‘timeline of one month’ has been placed on the official completion of the takeover, stating that it’s plausible that a BZG delegation could arrive on Tyneside this week to speed up the process.
It’s hard to know what to believe right now given the club’s silence on the matter, but it would make sense for the BZG to get cracking considering Rafa’s current deal expires in 4 weeks – especially when it’s claimed they want to keep Benitez and seem serious about getting the deal done this summer.
The idea of them being willing to invite co-investment into their bid for Newcastle United is also mentioned by Jacobs, suggesting they’d be keen to bring in outside investment once they have gained control – something that may only better the club when it comes to overall financial power.
This is just a snippet of what Jacobs had to say during his fascinating chat with the guys at the Chronicle, but his comments certainly reinforce the idea that Sheikh Khaled and the Bin Zayed Group are VERY serious about getting this deal done – and making ‘sleeping giants’ Newcastle United a real force again.