According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United chiefs are ‘adamant’ they’ve now issued their ‘final offer’ to Rafa Benitez regarding a potential new contract.
That said, the same piece mentions a ’cause of concern’, claiming Rafa Benitez is yet to respond with any form of yes or no – despite the fact the club’s latest contract proposal was sent to him around 2 weeks ago.
This makes you wonder if Rafa is either A) assessing the managerial options available to him should he go elsewhere and / or B) waiting to see if there’s any significant developments regarding a potential takeover.
Here’s a snippet from Scott Wilson’s latest piece in the Northern Echo:
‘NEWCASTLE UNITED’S current owners will not be conducting fresh contract talks with Rafael Benitez, and are adamant their final offer is already on the table.
‘Benitez’s current contract is due to expire on June 30, which means he has just over three weeks in which to decide whether to accept the terms that have been submitted via his representatives.
‘Having met Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley in London last month, Benitez and his negotiating team have been in contact with the Newcastle hierarchy via telephone and Email in the last few weeks.
‘That has resulted in a formal contract offer, which Benitez is currently understood to be considering. The Newcastle boss was in Madrid last weekend for the Champions League final, but is believed to have returned to his family base on the Wirral to consider his future.
‘The Spaniard is aware of ongoing interest from a number of quarters, although Newcastle are the only English club to be offering him a job this summer.
‘Roma have also attempted to talk to Benitez since the end of the season, but the Magpies manager turned down an invitation to speak to the Italian club’s chief executive Guido Fienga.
‘His reluctance to discuss a possible move to Serie A has increased hopes he will agree to remain on Tyneside, but the fact he has had Newcastle’s contract offer for around a fortnight and stopped short of signing on the dotted line remains a cause of concern.
‘The ongoing uncertainty about Newcastle’s ownership is bound to play a major role in his final decision, with the viability of the Bin Zayed Group’s attempts to buy out Ashley still shrouded in huge uncertainty.‘
What worries me is the fact recent reports – especially in the Chronicle – have suggested that Mike Ashley has not been able to give Benitez all the assurances he’s needed, suggesting he is STILL not open to a compromise.
Hopefully this is partly due to the fact he ‘wants out’ and a potential takeover that could arrive as a result, but it’s not yet clear if the Bin Zayed Group plan to keep Rafa Benitez ins charge should they buy the club.
Time’s ticking, so it’s in our interest to get the takeover and managerial situation sorted ASAP, but I don’t blame Rafa Benitez for taking his time.
If he’s being kept in the dark about potential new owners, he’s only returning the favour by keeping Mike Ashley and co. in the dark about a potential new deal.