On the takeover front, the piece claims that Mike Ashley has been in ‘advanced talks’ with ‘at least’ TWO potential buyers – however it has been stressed that no group have reached the ‘exclusivity’ stage yet.
After news of a £12m offer from China, Gary Jacob highlights that takeover talk has ‘muddied the situation’ regarding Rafa Benitez’s contract – something which is perhaps the most pressing concern right now given his current deal expires in less than TWO weeks now.
Here’s an extract from the Times, revealing that Rafa has been unable to agree to the terms of a one-year deal offered by the club:
‘The Spaniard, who earns £6 million a season, has been offered a new one-year deal by Newcastle but has been unable to agree terms, or secure commitments from the club about how his transfer budget is spent.
‘The possibility of the club being taken over has further muddied the situation as well as delaying the signing of new players.
‘Newcastle are understood to be in advanced talks with at least two potential buyers.‘
The Chronicle did suggest recently that a short-term deal now looked more likely if Rafa Benitez was to stay, but it seems even the terms of this offer have no been up to scratch, with issues over how his transfer budget can be spent being noted as a sticking point here.
A one-year deal does little to secure his long-term future, however you could argue that he would be reluctant to sign any length contract given the uncertainty surrounding both Mike Ashley and a potential takeover.
As for the potential buyers in ‘advanced talks’, it sounds like the Bin Zayed Group aren’t the only ones keen to take over, but the time for talking is over.
A takeover needs to happen in the next few weeks if we’re serious about moving forward without Mike Ashley and with Rafa Benitez.