Press Association say why takeover is still “some way off” – & claim Benitez deal is ‘not close’

According to Damian Spellman – The Press Association’s North-East sports reporter – Rafa Benitez is still ‘not close’ to agreeing a new contract with Newcastle United.

Spellman’s piece for the Independent also states that not one potential buyer has been granted ‘exclusivity’ regarding a potential takeover, stating that any deal with the Bin Zayed Group is still ‘some way off’.

With that in mind, it seems highly unlikely that any deal will now go through BEFORE Benitez’s current contract expires on June 30th.

Back to Benitez and it’s also claimed in this new report that there is still ‘a distance’ between the two parties when it comes to a new contract. Once again, this idea that Rafa wants greater control over the recruitment process is mentioned – stating he wants to go against Ashley’s transfer blue print and sign players regardless of their ‘age’ or ‘resale value’.

Here’s a snippet from his latest piece on Benitez’s future and a potential takeover, with the Press Association claiming there’s been few signs of a breakthrough:

Newcastle United remain in a state of limbo with manager Rafa Benitez’s contract running down fast and little sign of an imminent breakthrough in takeover talks.

The Spaniard’s existing deal is due to expire on June 30 and while there is a new offer on the table, Press Association Sport understands there is still a distance between the two parties.

They (NUFC) want Benitez to stay and believe they have made him a lucrative offer, while he wants to carry on but only if he has greater control of the recruitment process. That would include freedom to sign the players he wants regardless of their age or potential resale value.

His task is being complicated by the prospect of Ashley selling the club with discussions under way with a series of potential purchasers, principally Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who claimed last month to have “agreed terms” with the Sports Direct magnate.

Sources in the United Arab Emirates insist Sheikh Khaled’s interest in the club is progressing, but no group has yet been granted exclusivity and it appears a conclusion remains some way off.

It’s a pretty damning ‘update’, but highlights how vital it is that things move forward over the coming weeks.

Rafa’s contract expires in less than a fortnight’s time and it doesn’t sound like he’s going to sign unless things change – meaning Mike Ashley may have to intervene with an improved offer or some form of compromise if he wants to keep the Spaniard at the club.

Either that, or we’ll have to hope things speed up on the takeover front, although you can’t help but think any new owners would arrive AFTER Rafa’s contract expires on June 30th if they’re going to, meaning it’ll be up to Mike Ashley to keep him at the club for now.

What a mess.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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