Sky Sports’ Pete Graves has hinted that the Bin Zayed Group plan to keep Rafa Benitez should they complete a takeover, stating that ‘all sides’ want the 59-year-old to remain at St James’ Park this summer.
Graves also stated that he ‘remains hopeful’ that Benitez will stay on Tyneside this summer, saying that takeover talk has ‘slowed everything down’, but insisting that the Spaniard was in fact ‘very close’ to agreeing a new contract before interest from the Bin Zayed Group emerged.
Here’s what the Newcastle-based Sky host had to say when responding to a fan on Twitter:
“I remain hopeful because all sides want him to stay! Takeover talk is slowing everything down though undoubtedly.
“They (NUFC) were very close to an agreement before this takeover bid.”
So, if Benitez was ‘very close’ to signing a new deal prior to the Bin Zayed Group’s emergence, maybe he is simply waiting to see if their ‘takeover bid’ goes through before committing to the current offer on the table from Mike Ashley?