Rafa Benitez has now been pictured arriving back at St James Park from his family home in the north west.
Wednesday morning saw widespread media confirmation that at last agreement had been reached between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley, with the BBC, Skys Sports and the Times, amongst many others, reporting the good…great news.
The formal announcement is expected in a matter of hours and Rafa looked a happy man, although not smiling half as much as the average Newcastle fan this afternoon, as he entered St James Park this lunchtime.
The reports confirmed that Ashley has agreed to the Manager having complete control over recruitment. Rafa having the final say on who leaves and who arrives, unlike the circus/dog’s dinner that helped Newcastle get relegated with the increasingly failing Graham Catt having final say.
The Telegraph say that their information is that Rafa Benitez has been promised a sizeable transfer kitty that met his expectations, a kitty that is realistic in building the squad to achieve instant promotion.
However, on top of that kitty, the report says that Mike Ashley has also told Benitez that anybody who he sells, he will then have that money to reinvest in players of his own choosing.
This would mean surely that any worries about any particular individual player leaving must now be redundant, as if somebody doesn’t want to stay then it is better they leave anyway, plus there will be a lot of faith in Rafa bringing in the right kind of players to do the immediate job and then hopefully build on a promotion.
The likes of Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend are all names that have been put forward as possible departures and no doubt we will see many more potentially going.
With the exception of Andros Townsend I can honestly say I wouldn’t be bothered if any other player left. Though if possible I would like to see Lascelles and Mbemba here next season to see whether they can maybe be the decent centre-back partnership Newcastle have been crying out for….for what seems like forever.