It’s been 20 days since the Bin Zayed Group stated they’d ‘agreed terms’ with Mike Ashley, while Rafa Benitez’s current contract is due to expire in 10 days time.
It’s fair to say D-day is approaching for Newcastle United, but there’s a theory regarding Rafa’s future and a potential takeover that I’m clinging onto.
Firstly, I am trying to see the silence (both from Benitez, the BZG and Ashley/NUFC) as a good thing.
As I’ve stressed in previous pieces, I really do think that the club and / or Mike Ashley would’ve come out and rubbished claims being made by the Bin Zayed Group a few weeks ago if they weren’t remotely close to the truth.
Several journalists remain sceptical, but I’m not convinced many people know what’s going on.
I would be worried if Rafa Benitez was one of those people and in the dark about any proposed takeover, but perhaps he’s fully aware of the plans being made behind the scenes and is simply sitting tight and refusing to sign a new deal under Mike Ashley as he won’t be the owner of Newcastle United for much longer?
Think about it – We’ve heard no end of reports stating Mike Ashley’s offer is his ‘final offer’ and ‘non-negotiable’, so surely Rafa would’ve rejected it by now and came out to at least give fans an answer if he was A) unhappy with the terms offered in this take it or leave it proposal and B) not expecting any takeover to go through?
Perhaps I’m clutching at straws, but it doesn’t quite add up that Rafa would’ve stayed silent for this long when he of all people will know how desperate us fans are for answers.
As for the Bin Zayed Group, it would not be in their interests to make up claims that they are seriously planning to buy the club. After all, it would be one of the worst PR exercises I’ve known if it came out in the coming weeks that their interest was never genuine. They’d immediately be known as tire-kickers and time wasters and, as I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure Mike Ashley would’ve quickly dismissed their ‘interest’ if there was nothing in it.
I can’t help but feel like something’s going on.
Rafa’s silence may be because he’s hoping Mike Ashley will blink first and agree to compromise at the 11th hour, however I’m hoping (and praying!) he’s staying put because he knows a takeover is in the offing.
I must admit, I can’t see any takeover being done BEFORE Benitez’s deal expires in 10 days time – so Rafa’s future in all of this is a genuine concern – but I have a feeling the silence may be golden as far as this takeover is concerned.
The drawn out process may end up hampering our plans this summer and cutting our transfer window extremely short, but I’m sure both us fans and Rafa Benitez would accept that if it meant Mike Ashley was no more at Newcastle United.