Mark Douglas has made an intriguing new Rafa Benitez claim, believing the ‘political’ Spaniard may have purposefully timed recent exit talk in a bid to get the club to blink first and re-open one last round of discussions.
The comes after the Chronicle claimed last night that the club will make a ‘last ditch’ move this week to convince him to stay.
While Chris Waugh’s piece does not state whether the club will offer improved terms in their final attempt to keep him on Tyneside, his piece does highlight the fact that talks between Benitez and NUFC chiefs have been intermittent since their meeting in London last month, so it may be that Rafa is keen to get everyone back around the table to see if they can agree to a compromise at the 11th hour.
Here’s what Mark Douglas has had to say about talk of a ‘late move’ from Newcastle, with him suggesting that the timing of these Rafa’s exit stories is no coincidence and instead an attempt to gain one last meeting:
Interestingly, Mark admits that latest claims on Rafa’s future and the interest from China have come from the Benitez camp itself – backing up his claims that the Spaniard is pushing to see if the club will budge late on (with the current offer clearly not being good enough) or stand firm and attempt to call his bluff:
Benitez may be prepared to walk away, but we all know how desperate he is to make a success of things at St James’ Park – and who could blame him after three years of hard work and many a battle with a certain Mike Ashley.
I have little faith that the club will compromise, with Mike Ashley having already made it quite clear that he’ll happily let anyone go who doesn’t fit into his business model at NUFC, but the thought of one last meeting would at least give us a glimmer of hope that something could be resolved.
Who knows, maybe Rafa’s already made his mind up, but Mark’s words reminded me of the political approach Benitez often takes up in these situations.
Has he played the ‘I’m gone’ card in a bid to see if the club will buckle when faced with the reality of losing him and blink first at the 11th hour?