Rafa Benitez has now confirmed his move to China, with his latest social media post revealing that he has now begun his ‘new project’ with Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.
On the takeover front – our only small glimmer of hope right now – the Shields Gazette also claim that a statement from the Bin Zayed Group has ‘already been drafted’, with them expecting it to be released as early as TODAY.
Elsewhere, back on Tyneside, we’re just days away from the start of pre-season training, and the Northern Echo claim new U-23 head coach Neil Redfearn looks set to take control of the initial part of our summer programme.
The Chronicle claim that it could also be Ben Dawson – last season’s U-23 boss – could lead pre-season training if Rafa’s replacement isn’t found this week, however the Echo seem to think it will be Redfearn who’ll be in charge on an ‘interim basis’ should we fail to secure a new boss in good time.
So, with Rafa gone, our player of the season out of the picture and no incomings anywhere to be seen as of yet, it’s fair to say our summer so far has been an absolute shambles.
It is mentioned that Redfearn could be asked to ‘hold the fort’ on a temporary basis incase there is a realistic chance of a takeover being completed in the next couple of weeks/months, however those are now very much ‘hopes’ rather than expectations given Mike Ashley’s history of actually securing a sale.