According to the Chronicle’s Chris Waugh, Rafa Benitez is now ‘heading towards’ a short-term deal at St James’ Park if he decides to stay this summer.
It’s been reported this week that the club are now awaiting a decision from the Spaniard after talks with both Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley, and Waugh has suggested that a ‘1 or 2 year-deal’ could be what Benitez agrees to.
It remains to be seen if Rafa will agree to a any new deal – especially when he’s ‘not had all the assurances he wanted’ – although it’s suggested below that this may be down to the fact Ashley wants out:
“My understating at the moment is that we’re heading towards what looks like it will be more of a shorter contract rather than a longer term contract both parties would’ve preferred to have.
“That hasn’t been agreed yet – we could still come to a conclusion where Benitez signs a 3-5 year deal – but at the moment I think 1 or 2 years is what we’re heading towards.”
“I think that’s because of all the uncertainty going on, but also the fact that Benitez hasn’t had all the assurances he wants, which is probably because Mike Ashley doesn’t want to commit to a club that he hopes he’s going to sell in the coming months.”
This makes sense, even if it’s hard to see things clearly when a takeover has clouded just about everything connected to Newcastle United right now.
It’s now appearing more and more apparent that Mike Ashley does want out at Newcastle this time around, and, as a result, he’s going to be even more reluctant to agree to the assurances Rafa Benitez craves. That said, this approach is unacceptable if yet another proposed takeover falls flat.
If he’s not agreeing to Rafa’s demands, OK, but make sure you sell up this time to someone who will!
It’s a messy situation, but a short term deal would make plenty sense given a takeover is looking more and more likely. Even if a deal isn’t struck with Sheikh Khaled this summer, it’s starting to feel like Mike Ashley’s end game is upon us – and Rafa may be tempted to stick around a little longer yet if new ideas, ambition and cash is set to arrive at the club over the coming year.
I wouldn’t blame Rafa Benitez if he walked away, with him likely to have several big offers elsewhere, but he’s not stuck it out this long to walk away when a takeover could be on the horizon.
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