North-east report Simon Bird has written an intriguing piece for The Mirror today, discussing the one reason he believes Rafa Benitez has stuck it out at St James’ Park and remained silent in recent weeks.
His theory? The Spaniard is only sticking around this summer and ‘tolerating’ Mike Ashley as he knows a takeover is in the offing on Tyneside.
It’s wishful thinking, but it makes quite a bit of sense.
As he highlights below, he feels the 59-year-old would not have put up with the ‘excruciating limbo’ that has paralysed the club since May if he didn’t believe something was in the pipeline.
Here’s what Simon’s had to say during his intriguing new piece for the Mirror:
‘There can only be one reason Rafa Benitez is tolerating Newcastle United this summer.
‘He must know that a takeover is in the pipeline.
‘That if he sits tight, stays quiet and doesn’t kick up a fuss – as he enters the last few days of his contract – a new owner will eventually, very soon, rescue the club from its stasis.
‘That can be the only explanation for Benitez not having walked away from the current, excruciating limbo, that has stifled the club since May.
‘If there was no hope of change at the top, and no urgency to strike a new deal to keep him as boss, Rafa could have left, his head held high, in the last couple of weeks.
‘Ashley can’t offer him a serious multi-million deal to stay in charge if he is in detailed sale talks, despite claims it is “business as usual”.
‘Only new owners can make that decision.
‘He is a conscientious man. He’s not one for sitting on his backside doing nothing.
‘Sheikh Khaled is the one very public bidder, saying he’s got a deal and earlier this week that “all’s good”, with the process.
‘Mike Ashley knows this is the time to sell. He won’t get a better price. He’s had five goes at flogging the club he bought 12 years ago, and he can’t mess this chance up.‘
We may have natural doubts about a takeover, Mike Ashley and Rafa’s future as a result, but Simon makes a strong case here.
After all, contract talks were held with Mike Ashley several weeks ago yet there’s been no conclusion and a sudden wall of silence form both himself and the club.
Is the silence golden? Let’s hope so!